Obama Criticizes Opponents of Energy Proposals, Offers Few Specifics
In Wisconsin today, President Obama delivered a rebuke of those who oppose efforts to boost the energy manufacturing sector and create “clean energy jobs.” But Obama steered clear of specifics and did not call for passage of a stripped-down energy and oil spill response bill in the Senate, let alone comprehensive climate and energy legislation.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) delayed a vote on a stripped-down energy and oil spill response bill before the August recess because he did not have the votes to pass the legislation. It remains unclear whether the Senate will be able to pass the legislation this year. Comprehensive energy and climate legislation, with a cap on greenhouse gas emissions, appears to have even less momentum in the Senate.
Speaking today at ZBB Energy — a company based in Menomonee Falls, Wis., that is using stimulus money to make technology that stores energy from wind and solar plants — Obama criticized “the folks who played politics the past year and a half” for standing in the way of establishing a clean energy manufacturing sector in the United States and prevent jobs from moving overseas.
According to Obama’s prepared remarks:
But some folks in Washington argue we should abandon these efforts. These are the same folks in Washington who made the political calculation that it was better to stand on the sidelines than work as a team to help the American worker. They said no to small business tax cuts, no to rebuilding infrastructure, no to clean energy projects. They even voted against getting rid of tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas.
Well, my answer to the folks who have played politics the past year and a half is to come to this plant. They should go to any of the dozen new battery factories, or the new electric vehicle manufacturers, or the wind turbine makers, or solar plants that are popping up all over this country. I want them to explain why they think these clean energy jobs are better off in other countries instead of right here in the United States.