President Obama's State of the Union Address 2010 begins at 9PM eastern (6PM on the west coast) and I will be one of the 50 million or so that are expected to tune in.
If you want to watch it online, you can catch it on Youtube or on White House.gov. It's also fun to see what the pundits have to say in almost real-time on sites like the NY Times, Politico and, of course, all the great opinionators here on Huffington Post.
I will, as you probably expect, be watching President Obama's SOTU to see what he has to say about clean energy policy and green jobs. Normally a State of the Union address has little that is specific or very exciting and I suspect this President, like most before him will stick to broad, big vision themes. That being said, there is speculation this afternoon that President Obama will use this platform to demand a second jobs package to put a spark in America's floundering economy.
Such an announcement would bode well for the clean energy sector given that the Obama administration put a great deal of emphasis in his first jobs package on investment in renewable energy technologies, like wind, solar and geothermal. Just in the last few days we've seen some of the results of that investment:
- A new report by the American Wind Energy Association released this week reported a record year for wind power installments. Much of the credit for the record year was attributed to the Administration's American Recovery and Investment Act which is at the core of the President's job stimulus plan.
- Ford Motor Company announced the opening of a new plant in Chicago for their next-generation "ecoBoost" Ford Explorer. This400 million investment by Ford will mean 1,200 new jobs for the region. The project was made possible under the US government's "green partnership" program.
- Also yesterday, General Motors announced a new electric motor plant to be built in Baltimore. The plant will produce GM's two-mode hybrid car system and means 200 new jobs for the region. This246 million investment was made possible from a grant by the US Department of Energy and is seen as a strategic move against Chinese electric car manufacturers that are making in-roads into the American market.
And those were the announcements from just yesterday!
There is a lot the President can do to continue to take advantage of the potentially lucrative clean energy sector, and what he says tonight in his State of the Union address should offer clues to whether his administration remains committed to the green jobs vision.