Citing a need for increasing jobs and combating climate change, President Obama pledged to do more to “speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy” during his 2013 State of the Union address.
Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. And we’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year — let’s drive down costs even further. As long as countries like China keep going all in on clean energy, so must we.
Now, in the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. We need to encourage that. And that’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. That’s got to be part of an all-of-the-above plan. But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and our water.
Although there was no mention of biofuels in the speech, both ethanol and biodiesel organizations issued statements stressing their importance for the nation in achieving the president’s goals. “Biofuels can provide the eco-boost the U.S. economy needs,” said Renewable Fuels Association president and CEO Bob Dinneen. ““I am pleased that President Obama will continue to pursue policies that increase the use of cleaner, renewable energy, which is better for our environment and the air we breathe,” Growth Energy CEO Tom Buis said. Anne Steckel, vice president of federal affairs at the National Biodiesel Board, added that the biodiesel industry is poised to play a growing role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. “Biodiesel is a practical, cost-effective and bipartisan solution that’s here today to address this problem,” Steckel said.