Barack Obama. Photo: Sam Graham-Felsen
Photo: Sam Graham-Felsen

In a speech on Wednesday at a GM auto plant in Wisconsin, Barack Obama outlined his economic agenda for the country. He described his stimulus plan, promising to boost green jobs, help the middle class, dole out tax cuts, negotiate worker and environmental protections in upcoming free-trade agreements — and, to help pay for much of it, end the costly war in Iraq.

The environmental highlights of the speech are below (audio available here):

Decades of trade deals like NAFTA and China have been signed with plenty of protections for corporations and their profits, but none for our environment or our workers who’ve seen factories shut their doors and millions of jobs disappear; workers whose right to organize and unionize has been under assault for the last eight years …

[Lobbyists have] been allowed to write an energy policy that’s keeping us addicted to oil when there are families choosing between gas and groceries …

[When I am president, infrastructure repairs in the country] will be determined not by politics, but by what will maximize our safety and homeland security; what will keep our environment clean and our economy strong …

When I am president, I will not sign another trade agreement unless it has protections for our environment and protections for American workers …

I believe that we can create millions of … jobs around a clean, renewable energy future …

I know that General Motors received some bad news yesterday, and I know how hard your governor has fought to keep jobs in this plant. But I also know how much progress you’ve made, how many hybrids and fuel-efficient vehicles you’re churning out. And I believe that if our government is there to support you, and give you the assistance you need to re-tool and make this transition, that this plant will be here for another hundred years. The question is not whether a clean energy economy is in our future, it’s where it will thrive. I want it to thrive right here in the United States of America; right here in Wisconsin; and that’s the future I’ll fight for as your president …

My energy plan will invest $150 billion over 10 years to establish a green energy sector that will create up to 5 million new jobs over the next two decades — jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced. We’ll also provide funding to help manufacturers convert to green technology and help workers learn the skills they need for these jobs. …

I’ve paid for every element of this economic agenda by ending a war that’s costing us billions, closing tax loopholes for corporations, putting a price on carbon pollution, and ending George Bush’s tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans.