". . .nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy. Over the last three years, we've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration, and tonight, I'm directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources. (Applause.) Right now -- right now -- American oil production is the highest that it's been in eight years. That's right -- eight years. Not only that -- last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past 16 years."But with only 2 percent of the world's oil reserves, oil isn't enough. This country needs an all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. A strategy that's cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs."We have a supply of natural gas that can last America nearly 100 years. And my administration will take every possible action to safely develop this energy. Experts believe this will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade. And I'm requiring all companies that drill for gas on public lands to disclose the chemicals they use. Because America will develop this resource without putting the health and safety of our citizens at risk."The development of natural gas will create jobs and power trucks and factories that are cleaner and cheaper, proving that we don't have to choose between our environment and our economy. (Applause.) And by the way, it was public research dollars, over the course of 30 years, that helped develop the technologies to extract all this natural gas out of shale rock - reminding us that government support is critical in helping businesses get new energy ideas off the ground."Now, what's true for natural gas is just as true for clean energy. In three years, our partnership with the private sector has already positioned America to be the world's leading manufacturer of high-tech batteries. Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly doubled, and thousands of Americans have jobs because of it."When Bryan Ritterby was laid off from his job making furniture, he said he worried that at 55, no one would give him a second chance. But he found work at Energetx, a wind turbine manufacturer in Michigan. Before the recession, the factory only made luxury yachts. Today, it's hiring workers like Bryan, who said, "I'm proud to be working in the industry of the future.""Our experience with shale gas, our experience with natural gas, shows us that the payoffs on these public investments don't always come right away. Some technologies don't pan out; some companies fail. But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. I will not walk away from workers like Bryan. I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here."We've subsidized oil companies for a century. That's long enough. It's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that rarely has been more profitable, and double-down on a clean energy industry that never has been more promising. Pass clean energy tax credits. Create these jobs."We can also spur energy innovation with new incentives. The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change. But there's no reason why Congress shouldn't at least set a clean energy standard that creates a market for innovation. So far, you haven't acted. Well, tonight, I will. I'm directing my administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power 3 million homes. And I'm proud to announce that the Department of Defense, working with us, the world's largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history - with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year."Of course, the easiest way to save money is to waste less energy. So here's a proposal: Help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings. Their energy bills will be $100 billion lower over the next decade, and America will have less pollution, more manufacturing, more jobs for construction workers who need them. Send me a bill that creates these jobs."
"We've got crumbling roads and bridges; a power grid that wastes too much energy; an incomplete high-speed broadband network that prevents a small business owner in rural America from selling her products all over the world.
"During the Great Depression, America built the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge. After World War II, we connected our states with a system of highways. Democratic and Republican administrations invested in great projects that benefited everybody, from the workers who built them to the businesses that still use them today.
"In the next few weeks, I will sign an executive order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects. But you need to fund these projects. Take the money we're no longer spending at war, use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building right here at home."
The President also reemphasized the need for regulatory reform, but cautioned about going too far and being selective in the reforms. He said:
"There's no question that some regulations are outdated, unnecessary, or too costly. In fact, I've approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his. I've ordered every federal agency to eliminate rules that don't make sense. We've already announced over 500 reforms, and just a fraction of them will save business and citizens more than $10 billion over the next five years. We got rid of one rule from 40 years ago that could have forced some dairy farmers to spend $10,000 a year proving that they could contain a spill -- because milk was somehow classified as an oil. With a rule like that, I guess it was worth crying over spilled milk.
"Now, I'm confident a farmer can contain a milk spill without a federal agency looking over his shoulder. Absolutely. But I will not back down from making sure an oil company can contain the kind of oil spill we saw in the Gulf two years ago. I will not back down from protecting our kids from mercury poisoning, or making sure that our food is safe and our water is clean. I will not go back to the days when health insurance companies had unchecked power to cancel your policy, deny your coverage, or charge women differently than men."
Access the full text of the President's SOTU address (click here). Access the video of the SOTU (click here). Access links to more White House information on the SOTU including ways to participate and schedule of events (click here). Access the Blueprint for the Future (click here).[#All]
Eileen Claussen, President, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions: "We share President Obama's enthusiasm for homegrown solutions to America's energy challenges. Without question, America has the resources and know-how to produce more energy at home, strengthening both our economy and our national security. But protecting the climate also has to be part of the equation. If we sensitively develop domestic reserves, get serious about ramping up new energy sources, and push efficiency across the board, we can both meet America's energy needs and dramatically shrink our carbon footprint. Even if comprehensive legislation remains off the table for now, we can make important progress tackling these challenges piece by piece. C2ES is working with policymakers and stakeholders on ways to expand enhanced oil recovery using captured carbon dioxide an approach that can boost domestic oil production while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Similarly, we're working with automakers, environmentalists and others on a plan for integrating plug-in electric vehicles into the U.S. electrical grid. We look forward to sharing the results of these and other C2ES initiatives aimed at practical solutions to our twin climate and energy challenges."
Kierán Suckling, Executive Director of the Center for Biological Diversity: "Rather than calling for bold action to combat climate change, Obama intends to deepen America's dependence on fossil fuels which will increase dangerous greenhouse gas emissions. Expanding offshore oil drilling raises the risk of disastrous spills, puts wildlife in harm's way and solidifies U.S. dependence on the fossil fuels that are driving the global climate crisis."
Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune: Tonight President Obama laid out a blueprint for a nation built to last, highlighting important priorities to give hardworking Americans a fair shake, create good jobs for American workers and restore America's role as a global leader in manufacturing and innovation. There is no better way to achieve those goals than with a clean energy economy. We are especially encouraged by the President's commitment to doubling down on clean energy sources like wind and solar and creating incentives for clean energy growth and job creation. . . But we can't wait much longer for the clean energy revolution. Each day, corporate polluters put our children's health and our nation's future at risk, polluting the air we breathe and the water we drink with toxic chemicals."
Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council: "Home-grown sources of energy certainly are preferable to imports, especially from unstable regions of the world. But as the president noted, feeding our addiction to fossil fuels is not the long-term solution; we need to embrace renewable sources of energy with even greater fervor as well as energy efficiency. That's the path to a healthier, cleaner and more prosperous world. We all want American energy independence. But let's do it right."
T. Boone Pickens, Chair BP Capital Management: "I agree we should use every available American resource. I applaud President Obama for highlighting natural gas and for calling on Congress to better promote its use. The expanded use of natural gas in America in power generation and transportation has enormous bipartisan support in the Congress and in the states. It is time to move from vague generalities to specifics on how we make this transition happen. I am confident that President Obama, as well as all the candidates for President, will lay out detailed plans on how they intend to achieve it. . . America does not have a natural gas production problem we are awash in natural gas. What we have is a demand problem and unless we bring both sides of the equation in balance, we will see this cleaner, cheaper, abundant, domestic resource exported in greater and greater quantities."
Cal Dooley, President and CEO of the American Chemistry Council: "ACC welcomes the President's focus on energy and manufacturingkey to any blueprint for a stronger economy. Our member companies and their more than 780,000 employees are part of the answer, creating solutions that will enable a strong, secure and sustainable future. . . Natural gas from shale is a prime example of the 'homegrown energy' the President wants America to use. It's a game changer for the chemistry industry and other manufacturers, who can use more affordable and stable supplies to expand exports and create jobs. . . we need effective, fiscally responsible policies and balanced, rational regulations that will allow the nation to capitalize on our significant domestic energy sources while also protecting our environment."
National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) President and CEO Jay Timmons: "Tonight the President focused on the need to create jobs, shore up our energy security through increased domestic production and revive manufacturing in America. Yet his decision last week to reject the Keystone XL killed the promise of nearly 20,000 manufacturing and construction jobs along with the 118,000 indirect jobs that would ripple across our economy. . . The Obama Administration must take action to put an end to the rampant overregulation and overreach by the National Labor Relations Board and the Environmental Protection Agency. . . As consumers of one-third of our nation's energy supply, manufacturers embrace a true 'all-of-the-above' energy policy not one subject to the political winds."
U.S. Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Thomas J. Donohue: "Tonight the president addressed a number of subjects important to the economy and our nation. Unfortunately, too many of the solutions he proposed rest on higher taxes, more spending, and an avalanche of new regulations. The way to create the jobs Americans need is to grow our free enterprise economy, not to further expand the federal government. "The Chamber stands ready to work with the administration and both parties in Congress to create American jobs without raising taxes or adding to the deficit. Stronger growth is fundamental to creating more opportunity, a more inclusive economy, and a better quality of life for all Americans. "All participants in this discussion should concentrate on uniting Americans around a common plan, not dividing them for political purposes."
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA): The President tonight outlined a laundry list of popular programs without regard to what they cost and his own record in office. He has failed to deliver on economic growth promises, has squandered $800 billion in stimulus funds, and vetoed jobs and affordable domestic energy bills passed by Congress. What is clear is that he is pursuing a partisan class-warfare agenda aimed at dividing the American people. . ."