In a speech earlier today at Carnegie Mellon University, US President Barack Obama urged Congress to roll back “billions of dollars in tax breaks” for oil companies and begin to look at ways to significantly increase investment in clean energy alternatives.
The catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf right now may prove to be the result of human error -- or corporations taking dangerous short cuts that compromise safety,” said the President. Adding that, “The only way the transition to clean energy will succeed is if the private sector is fully invested in this future -- if capital comes off the sidelines and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs is unleashed."
The BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico continues to pump an estimated 19,000 barrels of oil a day into the oceans, trashing Louisiana marshlands and now moving in on the white beaches of the Florida panhandle.
In his remarks to 300 small business owners in attendance, the president repeatedly made the point that America was being left behind by China and the EU when it came to investing in a 21st Century economy:
"So we can’t afford to stand pat while the world races by. The United States of America did not become the most prosperous nation on Earth by sheer luck or happenstance."
"It’s a foundation based on investments in our people and their future; investments in the skills and education we need to compete; investments in a 21st century infrastructure for America, from high-speed railroads to high-speed Internet; investments in research and technology, like clean energy, that can lead to new jobs and new exports and new industries."
While the Obama administration's economic stimulus package in the form of the American Recovery Act has already pumped billions into the clean energy sector over the last year-and-a-half, this amount pales in comparison to the estimated $15 to $35 billion that American taxpayers pay out every year in subsidies to the US oil and gas industry.
You can read the President's remarks here: Remarks by the President on the Economy at Carnegie Mellon University
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