At a Democratic National Committee fundraiser on Wednesday night in San Francisco, President Barack Obama called out climate change-deniers in Congress, and commented that investments in clean energy are crucial to help the economy, national security, and future generations.
Although Obama admitted, “Secret Service doesn’t let me pump gas now,” he still recognizes that high gas prices are seriously affecting Americans. Beyond the economy, this becomes an issue of national security “because we see what’s happening in the Middle East and we understand that a finite resource that is primarily located in a very unstable part of the world is not good for our long-term future.”
Obama said that we must invest in clean energy, mentioning solar and wind power, as well as electric cars. He went on to declare that the U.S. must stop giving $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies to oil companies -- instead, the money should be put towards clean energy.
“Instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s energy. It’s good for our security. It will grow our economy, and it will leave our children with a safer and cleaner planet,” Obama said.
In one of the more note-worthy comments of the event, Obama acknowledged, “There are climate change deniers in Congress and when the economy gets tough, sometimes environmental issues drop from people’s radar screens.” As Talking Points Memo notes, Obama didn't mention that those climate change deniers are all Republicans, and his environmental agenda was hurt by an alliance formed between them and Democrats in fossil fuel-dependent states.
Obama went on to say that despite challenges, the country must make a serious move to clean energy or else “we’re putting our children and our grandchildren at risk.”
In a speech earlier this month, President Obama acknowledge that change would not happen overnight, but that he aims to reduce oil imports by one-third by 2025.