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President Obama Speaks After Tour of Electric Car Plant

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Thursday, March 19, 2009; 4:57 PM

SPEAKER: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA

[*] OBAMA: It is good to be back in California . It's always nice to get out of Washington for a little while and recharge your batteries. You know a little bit about that here. And I want to thank the folks here at the Electric Vehicle Technical Center for the tour we just had.

Yesterday, I was in Costa Mesa talking with folks about this economic downturn we're in - a downturn that's hitting this state as much as any. One in ten Californians are out of work and actively looking for jobs. And the foreclosure crisis has had a devastating impact on Southern California in particular. But Californians aren't just bearing the brunt of this crisis - you're doing what needs to be done to overcome it.

This workshop is a perfect example of that. Day by day, test by test, trial by painstaking trial; the scientists, engineers, and workers at this site are developing the ideas and innovations that our future depend upon. It is your ingenuity that will help create the new jobs and new industries of tomorrow.

It isn't easy. There are days, I'm sure, when progress seems fleeting, and days when it feels like you're making no progress at all. But often, our greatest discoveries are born not in a flash of brilliance, but in the crucible of a deliberate effort over time. And often, they take something more than imagination and dedication alone - often they take an investment from government. That's how we sent a man to the moon. That's how we were able to launch a world wide web. And it's how we'll build the clean energy economy that's the key to our competitiveness in the 21st century.

We'll do this because we know that the nation that leads on energy will be the nation that leads the world in the 21st century. That's why, around the world, nations are racing to lead in these industries of the future. Germany is leading the world in solar power. Spain generates almost 30 percent of its power by harnessing the wind, while we manage less than one percent. And Japan is producing the batteries that currently power American hybrid cars.


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