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Obama Announces Plans to Achieve Energy Independence

Video
President Barack Obama is pushing stronger curbs on greenhouse gases, saying he wants to make it easier for states such as California to adopt tougher fuel-efficiency rules than the federal standard. Video by AP

It will put 460,000 Americans to work with clean energy investments and double the capacity to generate alternative energy over the next three years. It will lay down 3,000 miles of transmission lines to deliver this energy to every corner of our country. It will save taxpayers $2 billion a year by making 75 percent of federal buildings more efficient. And it'll save working families hundreds of dollars on their energy bills by weatherizing 2 million homes.

This is the boost that our economy needs and the new beginning that our future demands.

By passing the bill, Congress can act where Washington has failed to act over and over again for 30 years. We need more than the same old empty promises. We need to show that this time it will be different. This is the time that Americans must come together on behalf of our common prosperity and security.

Second, we must ensure that the fuel-efficient cars of tomorrow are built right here in the United States of America.

Increasing fuel efficiency in our cars and trucks is one of the most important steps that we can take to break our cycle of dependence on foreign oil. It will also help spark the innovation needed to ensure that our auto industry keeps pace with competitors around the world.

We will start by implementing new standards for model year 2011, so that we use less oil and families have access to cleaner, more efficient cars and trucks.

This rule will be a downpayment on a broader and sustained effort to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Congress has passed legislation to increase standards to at least 35 miles per gallon by 2020. That 40 percent increase in fuel efficiency for our cars and trucks could save over 2 million barrels of oil every day: nearly the amount of oil that we import from the Persian Gulf.

Going forward, my administration will work on a bipartisan basis in Washington and with industry partners across the country to forge a comprehensive approach that makes our economy stronger and our nation more secure.

Third, the federal government must work with, not against, states to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

California has shown bold and bipartisan leadership through its effort to forge 21st-century standards, and over a dozen states have followed its lead.

OBAMA: But instead of serving as a partner, Washington stood in their way. This refusal to lead risks the creation of a confusing and patchwork set of standards that hurts the environment and the auto industry.


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