Yesterday, President Obama held a town hall at a Gamesa plant in Fair Hills, Pennsylvania, to discuss the growing need to build a clean-energy economy. This Gamesa plant is housed in a former steel industrial site and home to a company that designs, manufactures, and installs wind turbines. President Obama chose to highlight this company as both a model of private-sector innovation and a company creating 21st century jobs and helping reduce America’s addiction to oil.
Before taking audience questions, the President reiterated the basic tenants of his administration’s Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future:
Now, first of all, what I want to do is, in a decade, I want us to have cut by one-third the amount of oil that we imported when I was elected to this office. I want to cut our energy imports by a third.
Now, understand why that’s so important, because when you see what happens in the Middle East, and suddenly the world oil markets get spooked, even if the supply is there, your gas prices are going to go up. The less we import, the more control we have over what happens at the pump.
Second, through sources like wind energy, produced in part by your turbines, I want us to double the amount of electricity that we draw from clean sources. I want us to double it. And that means by 2035, 80 percent of our electricity will come from renewables like wind and solar, as well as efficient natural gas, clean coal, nuclear power. We can do that.
And by the way, that would make a huge difference here at Gamesa. This is an approach that says we’re not going to pick one energy source over another. What we do is we set a target, an achievable goal, and then we give industry the flexibility to achieve it…
So we’re cutting oil imports by a third. We’re going to get 80 percent of our electricity from clean sources. And if we follow through on this, if we actually tackle this challenge, here’s what will happen. Our economy will be less vulnerable to wild swings in oil prices. Our nation will no longer be beholden to the countries that we now rely on for oil imports. We won’t be sending billions of dollars a day to the Middle East. We can potentially keep some of that invested right here at home.
Click here to read the President’s full remarks at Gamesa.