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Clean energy has always been a political winner. All eight Presidents in the last quarter century have talked about the need to release ourselves from the grip of foreign oil for reasons such as increased national security, reducing pollution, growing jobs, increasing economic activity and creating exports by developing innovative technologies. No President, however, has been as exalted towards clean energy as Obama. One recent examples show how high clean energy is on the President’s agenda.
“We’re not just handing out money. We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo projects of our time.” President Barack Obama, 2011 State of the Union
It is no small thing that clean energy was front and center in Obama’s State of the Union address last week. It’s hard to describe the pressure from countless interest groups to get their issue even mentioned in a State of the Union address. For example, the other politically important areas Obama discussed were jobs, education, immigration, infrastructure, healthcare, the budget and national security. Clean energy, however, occupied seven paragraphs at the beginning of the address. It is clear that the White House will bring much force to bear on promoting clean energy in the years ahead.