President Obama said that it was time for the United States “to aggressively accelerate” its transition from oil to alternative sources of energy and vowed to push for quick action on climate change legislation.
PITTSBURGH — President Obama said Wednesday that it was time for the United States “to aggressively accelerate” its transition from oil to alternative sources of energy and vowed to push for quick action on climate change legislation despite almost unanimous opposition from Republicans and continued skepticism from some Democrats.
Seeking to harness the deepening anger over the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to the advantage of his legislative agenda, Mr. Obama promised to find the lagging votes in the Senate to get the climate change and energy bill passed this year. Last year, the House passed a version of the bill, which tries to address global warming by putting a price on greenhouse gas pollution and provides incentives for alternative clean energy sources.
“If we refuse to take into account the full cost of our fossil fuel addiction — if we don’t factor in the environmental costs and national security costs and true economic costs — we will have missed our best chance to seize a clean energy future,” Mr. Obama said. “The votes may not be there right now, but I intend to find them in the coming months.”
Mr. Obama’s remarks were made to a group of about 300 local business owners and economic officials at Carnegie Mellon University. He used them to reiterate his call to roll back Bush administration tax breaks for oil companies and to make a broader case for his administration’s accomplishments heading into an election season.
He defended what he cast as his vision of active but restrained government against a conservative limited-government philosophy that he said had proved a failure under President George W. Bush, and he criticized Republicans in Congress as obstructionists.
“From our efforts to rescue the economy to health insurance reform to financial reform, most have sat on the sidelines and shouted from the bleachers,” the president said. “They said no to tax cuts for small businesses, no to tax credits for college tuition, no to investments in clean energy. They said no to protecting patients from insurance companies and consumers from big banks.”
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Source: The New York Times