A transcript, provided by the White House, from Sunday’s roundtable interview with President Barack Obama, Energy Secretary Steven Shu and Carol Browner, assistant to the president on energy and climate change.
PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, we wanted to have you guys in because the vote on the energy bill came in on Friday, and although I made a statement, I didn’t have a chance to talk to the press about it.
I think this was an extraordinary first step. You know, if you had asked people six months ago — or six weeks ago, for that matter — whether we could get a energy bill with the scope of the one that we saw on Friday through the House, people would have told you, no way. You look at the constituent parts of this bill — not only a framework for cap and trade, but huge significant steps on energy efficiency, a renewable energy standard, huge incentives for research and development in new technologies, incentives for electric cars, incentives for nuclear energy, clean coal technology. This really is an unprecedented step and a comprehensive approach.
And if you tie it together with what we’ve done earlier, both in the stimulus on R&D and weatherization programs and a whole host of other steps, you take a look at the national fuel efficiency standard that we put into place — I think it’s fair to say that over the first six months we’ve seen more action on shifting ourselves away from our dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels than at any time in several decades.
The other thing I wanted to emphasize is the fact that as we transition into this clean energy economy we are going to see, I think, an enormous amount of economic activity and job production emerging. I know that opponents of this bill kept on suggesting this was a jobs-killer, but everybody I talk to, when we think about how are we going to drive this economy forward post-bubble, keep on pointing to the opportunities for us to transition to a clean energy economy as a driver of economic growth....MUCH MORE