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Obama on energy: America must build "the infrastructure of tomorrow"

Obama pushed for new clean energy legislation and infrastructure in his State of the Union address, framing the issue as part of the economic recovery.

From the prepared text:

Next, we can put Americans to work today building the infrastructure of tomorrow. From the first railroads to the interstate highway system, our nation has always been built to compete. There's no reason Europe or China should have the fastest trains, or the new factories that manufacture clean energy products.
Tomorrow, I'll visit Tampa, Florida, where workers will soon break ground on a new high-speed railroad funded by the Recovery Act. There are projects like that all across this country that will create jobs and help our nation move goods, services, and information. We should put more Americans to work building clean energy facilities, and give rebates to Americans who make their homes more energy efficient, which supports clean energy jobs. And to encourage these and other businesses to stay within our borders, it's time to finally slash the tax breaks for companies that ship our jobs overseas and give those tax breaks to companies that create jobs in the United States of America.
The House has passed a jobs bill that includes some of these steps. As the first order of business this year, I urge the Senate to do the same. People are out of work. They are hurting. They need our help. And I want a jobs bill on my desk without delay.
Next, we need to encourage American innovation. Last year, we made the largest investment in basic research funding in history - an investment that could lead to the world's cheapest solar cells or treatment that kills cancer cells but leaves healthy ones untouched. And no area is more ripe for such innovation than energy. You can see the results of last year's investment in clean energy - in the North Carolina company that will create 1200 jobs nationwide helping to make advanced batteries; or in the California business that will put 1,000 people to work making solar panels.
But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. That means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies. And yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America.
I am grateful to the House for passing such a bill last year. This year, I am eager to help advance the bipartisan effort in the Senate. I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy; and I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future - because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.

By Politics Editor  |  January 27, 2010; 10:02 PM ET
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Since we have a modern highway system, it is time for optimum use.
We could stuff much more traffic on the road if it is computer controlled. In large cities, especially with various age and sexes of drivers, there is extreme diversity of behaviour.
If everyone is assured that they will get to their destination as expected, then the driver can take their hands off the wheel, and talk on cell phones or with other passengers if desired. The computers both on-board and master traffic-netted with gps could make driving much safer while allowing orderly entrance and egress from high speed traffic. Even if one did not own a car there might be rental "modules" (cars) available that fit the stream of traffic. It is an idea whose time has come. This would be a modern method of transportation that did not involve the expensive development of fixed railroad rail "beds".

Posted by: electricyoung | January 28, 2010 12:18 AM | Report abuse

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