Biden: ‘If We Don’t Develop Renewable Energy, We Will Make the Biggest Mistake in This Nation’s History’

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

In a call to arms this afternoon at the National Clean Energy Summit, Vice President Joe Biden made the case for continued investments in renewable energy, explaining that “we have to unleash” innovation in the sector to stay competitive and rise to the environmental and economic challenges of the day.

“If we don’t develop renewable energy, we will make the biggest mistake in this nation’s history,” he explained a crowd of over 700 policymakers, investors, students and other business professionals in Las Vegas.

He also criticized political opponents of clean energy investments who have fought to de-fund major R&D and deployment programs, explaining “the President and I are not going to listen to those voices.”

Biden did not lay out any new policy priorities in today’s speech. Instead, he used the platform to reiterate the Obama Administration’s support for investing in renewable electricity and fuels. In his January State of the Union Address, Obama called this period of history “our generation’s Sputnik moment,” and outlined a broad plan to get 80% of the nation’s energy from clean resources by 2035.

With the potential for significant reductions in long-term spending on certain energy programs, the Administration may find it difficult to make the investments needed to come close to achieving that goal. While Biden didn’t address those specific challenges, he did make it clear that that the White House was at least standing behind the goal rhetorically.

“I have one specific message. Our country has a choice. Are we going to rise to the challenges like our grandfathers and grandmothers did? Or are we going to be a follower?”

Budget negotiations this fall will be a true test.

To see the rest of today’s speeches and roundtables at NCES, you can watch the live streaming here.

8 Responses to Biden: ‘If We Don’t Develop Renewable Energy, We Will Make the Biggest Mistake in This Nation’s History’

  1. SecularAnimist says:

    Biden’s message is undermined by the Obama administration’s actions: the largest expansion of offshore oil drilling in US history, approval of oil drilling in the thawing Arctic, a “massive expansion” (Joe Romm’s words) of coal mining on public lands, and the imminent likely approval of the Keystone XL pipline.

  2. David B. Benson says:

    Well, currently doesn’t appear that the USA will even place or show.

  3. Dr.A.Jagadeesh says:

    I am glad about US Vice President Joseph Robinette Biden commitment to promote Renewable Energy.

    Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
    Wind Energy Expert

  4. Ken says:

    Sorry for the tardy reply; I was knocked offline by Irene’s excess moisture falling from the sky.

    What the article does not point out is that the 80% goal by 2035 includes “clean” coal and natural gas. The actual goal for carbon free energy is closer to 20%. The Obama goal is a political trick. The Obama administration wants to lull the people into believing the government is acting while allowing the fossil fuel industry to conduct business as usual. No one is fooled.

  5. schwiz says:

    too bad renewable energy won’t pay for wars, we won’t see it.

  6. Iain says:

    It doesn’t even need to be motivated by climate change. Surely “energy security” as the west likes to call it, is just as important a reason

  7. Echo says:

    This is BS We have many instances where people have invented mileage stretching innovations for automobiles, only to have them bought up by the oil monopolies and hidden away. Many inventors, who held out, have been murdered. The patent office is full of such inventions. So don’t try to feed this crap to Americans.

  8. Paul says:

    Nuclear and solar are our two best hopes. Nuclear is a clear choice for the heavy lifting, and the ever advancing (43%+ in labs 22%+ commercially available). This coupled with advances in agraculture and the way animals are treated and how we yield our power over our environment to become closer to 0 C02 output is what we need to do as a species in the next two hundred years.