Obama’s Plan To Win The Future And The Republican Plan To Send Us Back

Our guest bloggers are Kate Gordon, Vice President of Energy Policy, and Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy, Center for American Progress Action Fund.

In tonight’s State of the Union address, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to American innovation and ingenuity by proposing new investments in clean energy research, development, and deployment. This stands in sharp contrast to the Republican Study Committee, whose plan undermines American competitiveness by chopping away at key programs designed to leverage private investment in clean energy solutions for tomorrow.

President Obama’s clean energy plan would launch the United States into the 21st century by investing in high tech vehicles. This would protect people from pollution, cut foreign oil imports and create jobs. The Republican Study Committee would keep us chained to oil imports by ignoring cars of the future while eliminating investments in high speed rail.

Clean Tech Innovation and Public Health Protection
President Obama Republican Study Committee
Clean tech innovation and job growth “We’ll invest in…clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.”

“The President’s Budget will propose increasing clean energy technology funding by a third compared to 2010.”

“The President’s Budget will also …more than doubl[e] investments in energy efficiency and a more than 85 percent increase in renewable energy investment.”

Eliminates key energy innovation programs including technical assistance for advanced manufacturers and the Applied Energy Research program at the Department of Energy. See Chopping at the Roots of Innovation
Tax breaks for big oil “I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.”

He would “end the approximately $4 billion per year in tax subsidies to oil, gas and other fossil fuel producers.”

Maintains $35 billion in tax loopholes for big oil companies.
Reduce foreign oil imports “With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.”

This would “reduc[e] oil consumption by 785 million barrels by 2030.”

Eliminates oil saving alternatives to driving by cutting the New Start Transit program, funding for Amtrak, and the Washington D.C. Metro system.
Reduce foreign oil imports “Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car.” “Eliminate Intercity and High Speed Rail Grants.”
Clean electricity deployment “Clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling… By 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all.” Continues to rely on old, dirty coal fired power plants. In 2009, all but eight House Republicans voted against American Clean Energy and Security Act that included a renewable electricity standard.

“Eliminate the Energy Star Program.” The program provides consumers with information about the energy efficiency of appliances and other technologies, many of which are made in the U.S.

Protect public health “I will not hesitate to create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the American people. That’s what we’ve done in this country for more than a century. It’s why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe.” Over 100 Republican representatives have cosponsored H.R. 97, which would make it impossible for EPA to limit carbon pollution from coal fired power plants, oil refineries or other sources to protect public health. There are 50 cosponsors of other, similar bills.

President Obama reiterated that he will “create or enforce commonsense safeguards” to protect Americans from harm. This should include requiring coal fired power plants and oil refineries to cut mercury, carbon, smog and other dangerous pollutants.

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