October is Energy Action Month -- a national effort to focus on the critical link between American energy and prosperity, highlight the tremendous potential of clean energy technologies to create new American jobs and industries, and underscore the importance of investing in American innovation to lead the 21st century global clean energy economy.
As a country, we face a fundamental choice about our energy future. We can continue with the status quo, or we can chart a new course forward – one that prioritizes investments in cleaner sources of energy to reduce our dependence on oil, strengthen American competitiveness, and protect public health and the environment.
President Obama believes that choice is clear. And that’s why the Administration has taken historic action to lay the foundation for a clean energy economy here in the United States. In the span of just two and a half years, we have made the largest investments in clean energy in our nation’s history, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and putting us on track to double renewable energy capacity by the end of the President’s first term. We have built the domestic advanced battery industry from scratch, jump-starting the American manufacturing sector. We have established the toughest fuel economy standards for cars and trucks ever, saving consumers money at the pump and ensuring the vehicles of the future are built here in America. And we have taken the most aggressive steps in a generation to protect the health of American families by reducing harmful air pollution.
Without President Obama’s leadership, none of these accomplishments would have been possible. Still, progress hasn’t come easy – even now, there are those that would prefer to reverse course and simply wave the white flag in the global race to develop cleaner sources of energy. Sadly, some believe that we just can’t compete.
As the President said just yesterday, he doesn't buy that. We’re not going to surrender to other countries’ technological leads that could end up determining whether or not we’re building a strong middle class in this country. We’re going to have to keep on pushing hard to make sure that manufacturing is located here, new businesses are located here, and new technologies are developed here.
All across the country, millions of Americans are already doing their part. Farmers are pushing the envelope to develop advanced and renewable fuels, young people are taking action to make their schools and communities more sustainable, and our nation’s scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs are working together to move new ideas and technologies from the lab to the marketplace.
Throughout October, we’ll be highlighting the ongoing work the Administration is doing to build a clean energy economy, so stay tuned for upcoming announcements and events. And to learn more about the President’s vision for a more secure energy future, please visit WhiteHouse.gov/energy.
Heather Zichal is the Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change