President-elect Obama continued to stress the importance of clean energy during a Monday press conference in which he officially unveiled his economic team.
Returning to themes outlined in his Saturday radio address to the nation, Obama said America “could lose millions of jobs” without “bold action” on the economy. Such action should include steps toward “creating the clean energy infrastructure of the 21st century.”
Asked this morning about his thoughts on bailing out the auto industry, Obama said Detroit should be expected to deliver a plan about how it would use that money to create new, more efficient vehicles. “We can’t just write a blank check to the auto industry. … Taxpayers can’t be expected to pony up for an industry that has been reluctant to change.” They need to be “focused on retooling,” and they need to “understand that we’re entering into a new energy economy,” he added.
“Taxpayers don’t want to see more money wasted,” he said, though he emphasized that he does think that the federal government should help the auto industry.
Obama also officially announced the names of four members of his economic team in this morning’s presser. They are:
- Timothy F. Geithner, president of the New York Federal Reserve, will serve as Treasury secretary.
- Larry Summers, who served as Treasury secretary under Clinton, will lead the National Economic Council.
- Christina Romer, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, will chair the Council of Economic Advisers.
- Melody Barnes, former chief counsel to Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) on the Senate Judiciary Committee and executive VP for policy at the Center for American Progress, will serve as director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.