Barack Obama: Clean energy will deliver the ‘jobs of the future’

By MJ LEE | 5/7/11 9:22 AM EDT Updated: 5/7/11 1:25 PM EDT
For the third weekend in a row, President Barack Obama used his weekly address to the nation on Saturday to promote his energy agenda, calling clean energy jobs the “jobs of the future.”

Speaking from the Allison Transmission plant in Indianapolis, where he visited on Friday, Obama lauded the workers at the hybrid technology manufacturing company for doing “big and impressive things.”

“The clean energy jobs at this plant are the jobs of the future — jobs that pay well right here in America,” the president said. “And in the years ahead, it’s clean energy companies like this one that will keep our economy growing, create new jobs and make sure America remains the most prosperous nation in the world.”

On Friday, Obama renewed his call for an end to tax subsidies for oil companies, saying profitable firms in the industry don’t need the extra $4 billion of tax benefits every year. “If you’re already paying them at the pump, we don’t need to pay them through the tax code,” the president said, echoing the topic of last week’s address. “Especially at a time when we’re scouring every part of the budget to try to figure out how we bring down our deficit and our debt.”

The 2 million private-sector jobs that were added to the economy in the past 14 months have not been enough to relieve Americans from the stress of rising costs of commodities, Obama acknowledged in his address. He sought to reassure listeners that even during a week dominated by news unrelated to the economy, he was focused every day on job creation.

Turning his attention to soaring gas prices, for which he said there are “no quick fixes,” the president said the country must reduce its dependence on oil by investing in clean, alternative sources of energy. “Other countries know this, and they’re going all i to invest in clean energy technologies and clean energy jobs,” Obama said. “But I don’t want other countries to win the competition. … I want American to win that competition.”

Finally, the president urged Americans to resist the temptation to cut back on essential investments like clean energy. “We can do this,” Obama said. “I believe that because I believe in the Americans making it happen in places like this. I’m optimistic about our economic future, because for all the challenges we face. America is still home to the most entrepreneurial, most industrious, most determined people on Earth.

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