President Obama gave his final State of the Union address tonight, pointing out the auto industry having its best year ever while looking to a future where our reliance on fossil fuels no longer limits us.
Obama didn’t linger very long on the future of the auto industry, which was quietly advertised prior to tonight’s speech. Instead he subtly hinted at advancing alternatives to fossil fuels, like hybrid electric and fully electric vehicles, to avoid forcing the U.S. into a desperate situation over foreign oil, and continuing to innovate and develop the clean energies and practices of our future.
Here’s the full text from the speech on America’s investment in energy and infrastructure:
Seven years ago, we made the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. Here are the results. In fields from Iowa to Texas, wind power is now cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. On rooftops from Arizona to New York, solar is saving Americans tens of millions of dollars a year on their energy bills, and employs more Americans than coal — in jobs that pay better than average. We’re taking steps to give homeowners the freedom to generate and store their own energy — something environmentalists and Tea Partiers have teamed up to support. Meanwhile, we’ve cut our imports of foreign oil by nearly sixty percent, and cut carbon pollution more than any other country on Earth.
Gas under two bucks a gallon ain’t bad, either.
Now we’ve got to accelerate the transition away from dirty energy. Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future — especially in communities that rely on fossil fuels. That’s why I’m going to push to change the way we manage our oil and coal resources, so that they better reflect the costs they impose on taxpayers and our planet. That way, we put money back into those communities and put tens of thousands of Americans to work building a 21st century transportation system.
None of this will happen overnight, and yes, there are plenty of entrenched interests who want to protect the status quo. But the jobs we’ll create, the money we’ll save, and the planet we’ll preserve — that’s the kind of future our kids and grandkids deserve.
Back in 2011, President Obama called to have one million plug-in electric cars on the road by 2015, but we had barely even reached a quarter of that proposition when 2015 came rolling around.
Of course there were quite a few roadblocks, including gas prices plummeting, and Congressional denial to Obama’s proposed $10,000 point-of-sale tax rebate on EVs and desired investment in waning off U.S. consumers from foreign oil.