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Reply #1: Remarks of Senator Barack Obama, Press Avail at PV Powered Plant [View All]

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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-10-08 04:19 PM
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1. Remarks of Senator Barack Obama, Press Avail at PV Powered Plant

Remarks of Senator Barack Obama, Press Avail at PV Powered Plant

Bend, Oregon

Saturday, May 10, 2008

As Prepared for Delivery

I just had the chance to walk through PV Powered and take a look at the solar technology theyre building here. This is truly a workshop of the future. Places like this are part of the reason Oregon is such a leader on clean energy. And this election is our chance to finally have a President who shows the same kind of leadership.

For far too long, Washington has failed to confront our energy crisis. Weve been talking about high prices at the pump and our dependence on foreign oil since the gas lines of the 1970s. Weve been talking about our environmental problems for even longer. And yet here we are, all these decades later and the only thing thats changed is that were even more dependent on foreign oil. Our planet is in even greater peril. And the price of gas is shooting up and up and up.

A big part of the problem has been that weve had corporate lobbyists writing our energy laws. When Dick Cheney was charged with coming up with our energy policy, he met with environmental groups once, he met with renewable energy folks once, and he met with the oil and gas companies forty times. This is just one example of how lobbyists have been skewing Americas agenda to serve the interests of Wall Street, no matter what the cost on Main Street. Thats why Ive fought throughout my career to rein in the power of lobbyists and why Im not taking a dime from Washington lobbyists on this campaign.

But another part of the problem is that weve had a politics thats too small to meet challenges as large as our energy crisis. Take the gas tax holiday that John McCain has proposed. This idea will save Americans a quarter and a nickel a day for three months all in all, thats less than 30 dollars. Its not even enough for a full tank of gas. This is a classic Washington stunt thats more about getting John McCain through an election than getting hardworking families through the summer. It will put billions of dollars into the pockets of the oil companies. Its bad for our environment. And rather than bring down gas prices over the long term, most economists think it will actually drive those prices up.

Now, I respect John McCains honorable service to this country, but what the American people need arent stunts; what they need are real solutions. And I hope thats what John McCain offers when he comes to Oregon on Monday to talk about energy. But the fact is, when he had the chance to provide real relief for struggling families by taxing the windfall profits of oil companies, he opposed it. Just like he opposed making price gouging by oil companies a federal crime. Just like hes opposed real solutions to reduce our dependence on oil time and time again. Hes voted repeatedly against mandates to ensure that were using more renewable energy, and measures to spark investment in clean energy. And hes voted against raising fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks.

Thats why the American people will have a clear choice in November when Im the nominee. Because I believe that we need to make the real investments in clean energy that will help solve this crisis once and for all. Thats why I reached across the aisle to come up with a plan to double our fuel efficiency standards that won support of lawmakers who had never supported raising those standards before. And thats why unlike John McCain, I fought to pass bipartisan energy reform a few years ago. Now, the bill was far from perfect, and it included tax giveaways to oil companies that I fought to eliminate. But I supported it because it was the largest investment in renewable energy in history.

If were serious about solving this crisis, we cannot let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Well have to forge long-term, bipartisan solutions, and thats what I intend to do as President. Ill invest $150 billion over ten years in establishing a green energy sector that will create up to 5 million new green jobs and those are jobs that pay well and cant be outsourced. Well invest in clean energies like solar and help ensure that companies like PV Powered have the support they need. And well set a national standard to make sure that the fuels were using are more efficient. Because thats how well reduce our dependence on foreign oil, thats how well save this planet, and thats how well get gas prices under control.

Its time we had an energy policy that wasnt written by and for the big oil companies, but by and for the American people. Its time to stop seeing our energy crisis as a problem we have to endure, and start seeing it as a challenge we can meet. And thats the kind of leadership I intend to offer as President of the United States.
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