This week, the House of Representatives is moving ahead on historic legislation that will transform the way we produce and use energy in America. This legislation will spark a clean energy transformation that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and confront the carbon pollution that threatens our planet.
So said President Obama in the opening remarks of his press conference today. He made his strong pitch for passage of the climate bill after discussing the dramatic situation in Iran – but before discussing healthcare. He continued:
This energy bill will create a set of incentives that will spur the development of new sources of energy, including wind, solar, and geothermal power. It will also spur new energy savings, like efficient windows and other materials that reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer.
These incentives will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. And that will lead to the development of new technologies that lead to new industries that could create millions of new jobs in America – jobs that can’t be shipped overseas.
At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air that we breathe. It also provides assistance to businesses and communities as they make the gradual transition to clean energy technologies.
So I believe that this legislation is extraordinarily important for our country; it’s taken great effort on the part of many over the course of the past several months. And I want to thank the Chair of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Henry Waxman; his colleagues on that committee, including Congressmen Dingell, Ed Markey, and Rick Boucher. I also want to thank Charlie Rangel, the Chair of the Ways and Means Committee, and Collin Peterson, the Chair of the Agriculture Committee, for their many and ongoing contributions to this process. And I want to express my appreciation to Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer for their leadership.
We all know why this is so important. The nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century’s global economy. That’s what this legislation seeks to achieve – it’s a bill that will open the door to a better future for this nation. And that’s why I urge members of Congress to come together and pass it.
Of course, Obama didn’t get a single question from the media on this.
Finally, a shout-out to former ThinkProgress blogger Nico Pitney, now at Huffington Post, who actually got to ask the President a question.
Hmm. maybe I should try to get White House press credentials….