(By Josh Marks, cross-posted at Green Forward)
Last Thursday President Obama gave a great speech touching upon issues relating to American energy. He called for a comprehensive energy policy that would end oil subsidies and boost biofuels and other renewables to reduce our reliance on the volatile world oil market that is subject to so much turmoil in the Middle East. Obama told the students gathered at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Florida that, while his administration is doing everything in their power to tap domestic oil and gas resources, it is politically dishonest to tell the American people that “drill, baby, drill” will realistically solve all our energy problems. The president said that public investments in energy efficiency and clean energy technologies will spur entire new industries and create millions of new jobs. As an example, he cited homegrown algae-based biofuel as having the potential to eventually replace imported petroleum entirely as a transportation fuel for airplanes and automobiles.
President Obama said the following about algae:
“We’re making new investments in the development of gasoline and diesel and jet fuel that’s actually made from a plant-like substance — algae. You’ve got a bunch of algae out here, right? (Laughter.) If we can figure out how to make energy out of that, we’ll be doing all right. Believe it or not, we could replace up to 17 percent of the oil we import for transportation with this fuel that we can grow right here in the United States. And that means greater energy security. That means lower costs. It means more jobs. It means a stronger economy.”
The president also recently gave an energetic speech at the United Auto Workers annual conference reminding the American people that over one million jobs were saved by rescuing the auto industry and that the retooling, with more fuel efficient vehicles on the assembly line, has made the United States automobile sector the envy of the world once again. Click here for a recap of Obama’s auto industry speech on Winning Progressive.
Obama’s optimism in regards to the American energy and auto industries, plus positive economic news and a declining unemployment rate, have boosted the president’s poll numbers. Obama’s Voter Confidence Index is the highest in nearly a year, continuing a five-month upward trend. Given all the pessimism and vitriol coming out of the Republican primary race, it is not surprising the American people are getting behind an optimistic president who is explaining to voters that his administration’s bold actions not only prevented another Great Depression, but are contributing to a slow and steady economic recovery.
Here is video of President Obama’s speech at the University of Miami.