President Barack Obama addressed the House Republicans at their retreat this week and then opened it up for questions while the cameras rolled. As most news accounts report it, Obama dismantled nearly every talking point the Republicans through at him, including those about climate and energy. While Obama continues to say that "clean coal" and nuclear power are keys to our energy future--a no-no among environmentalists serious about climate change--he also called upon the Republicans to wake up to the reality that the country that controls the new green technology and that builds the greenest economy will lead. The dialogue around climate and energy begins at the 19:30 mark. Obama reiterated his support for a cap and trade bill during his State of the Union speech this week, but he continues to also talk up energy sources that many feel stand in the way of the US taking the next competitive step on green energy.
From The Hill:
"Nobody's been a bigger promoter of clean coal technology than I am," Obama said, referring to development of technologies to capture and bury emissions from coal-fired power plants.
"I've said that I'm a promoter of nuclear energy, something that, you know, I think over the last three decades has been subject to a lot of partisan wrangling and ideological wrangling. I don't think it makes sense. I think that that has to be part of our energy mix."
Obama also noted his support for increased offshore oil-and-gas production.
But after talking up the issues that his audience supports, he told them that we have to move away from fossil fuels and master the green technologies that will power the world in the future. He also gently admonished them for their refusal to accept the reality of man-caused climate change.
"We have to plan for the future. And the future is that clean energy -- cleaner forms of energy are going to be increasingly important. Because even if folks are still skeptical in some cases about climate change in our politics and in Congress, the world's not skeptical about it."
"If we're going to be going after some of these big markets, they're going to be looking to see is the United States the one that's developing clean coal technology? Is the United States developing our natural gas resources in the most effective way? Is the United States the one that is going to lead in electric cars? Because if we're not leading, those other countries are going to be leading."
More on President Obama:
Obama Cites Michael Pollan's Sun-Food Agenda : TreeHugger
Obama Announces New Tax Credits For Green Jobs : TreeHugger