The President met with a group of innovative energy leaders today to discuss job creation and long-term plans for strengthening the industry which will play a key role in America’s economic future. CEOs from both small and large energy companies shared their own ideas about how to increase productivity through innovation and technology. Finding new ways of producing, saving, and distributing energy is not only good for our energy independence, but also presents opportunities to create millions of jobs for Americans.
In his remarks, the President explained that energy is one of the main pillars in our new economic foundation, which is why the administration has put it at the forefront of the recovery effort:
I'm pleased to say that we've achieved more in the past few months to create a new clean energy economy than we had achieved in many decades before. The recovery plan will double our country's supply of renewable energy, and is already creating new clean energy jobs. Thanks to a remarkable partnership between automakers, autoworkers, environmental advocates, and states, we also set in motion a new national policy to increase gas mileage and decrease carbon pollution for all new cars and trucks sold in this country, which is going to save us 1.8 billion barrels of oil.
And last Friday, the House of Representatives passed an extraordinary piece of legislation that would make renewable energy the profitable kind of energy in America. It will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It will prevent the worst consequences of climate change. And above all, it holds the promise of millions of new jobs -- jobs, by the way, that can't be outsourced.
The CEOs standing behind me know a lot about these kinds of companies. These are folks whose companies are helping to lead the transformation towards a clean energy future. Even as we face tough economic times, even as we continue to lose jobs, the CEOs here told me that they're looking to hire new people, in some cases to double or even triple in size over the next few years. They are making money and they are helping their customers save money on the energy front.
So these companies are vivid examples of the kind of future we can create, but it's now up to the Senate to continue the work that was begun in the House to forge this more prosperous future. We're going to need to set aside the posturing and the politics -- and when we put aside the old ideological debates, then our choice is clear. It's a choice between slow decline and renewed prosperity. It's a choice between the past and the future.
The American people I believe want us to make the right choice, and I'm confident that the Senate will. For at every juncture in our history, we've chosen to seize big opportunities -- rather than fear big challenges. We've chosen to take responsibility. We've chosen to honor the sacrifices of those who came before us -- and fulfill our obligations to generations to come. That's what we're going to do this time, as well.
The President went on to praise the innovation that is now taking place, from LED lighting to waterproof, long-lasting concrete. He added that although the economy continues to struggle, these are advances that will help us succeed both now and well into the future. "We always meet the challenges by moving forward," he said.
(President Barack Obama shakes hands with Energy Secretary Steven Chu following remarks about innovation
in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 2, 2009, following his meeting with business leaders. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson is second from left. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)