This is CAP CEO John Podesta’s Speech at the Department of Interior’s Onshore Renewable Energy Workshop.
Thank you, Steve, for that kind introduction, and for inviting me to speak here this morning. And thanks to all of you for your important work leading the United States into a clean energy future. This is a terrific gathering on an important topic. Yesterday you began by hearing from Secretaries Ken Salazar, Steven Chu, and Tom Vilsack; this morning you start with me. Going from “True Grit” to “Spider Man, the Musical.” Apologizes for the conference organizers. I hope I have something interesting to say. It’s impressive to see so many people here discussing strategies for actually deploying renewable energy, and for doing so in an environmentally and culturally sensitive way.
The work you’re doing on the ground today is more important than ever before. As a country, we are facing an energy challenge unprecedented in its urgency, its stakes, its scope, and its opportunity. For 200 years, we have relied almost exclusively on high-carbon fossil fuels like coal and oil to power economic growth, raise living standards, and increase mobility. Now, maintaining the status quo is no longer a possibility””and how we choose to produce and consume energy today will change our country for either good or ill for many generations to come.