Alexandria store serves as backdrop for Obama round table
With winter nearly here, President Obama traveled to a Home Depot in Alexandria this morning to tout his proposal that Congress set up incentives for consumers who retrofit their homes to save energy and reduce utility bills.
Obama also promoted the nearly $8 billion in stimulus funds already targeted for such efforts, which are intended to boost hiring in construction and manufacturing - sectors hit hard by the recession - while saving families money and reducing carbon emissions. His plans to expand the program are part of a larger proposal unveiled earlier this month to address unemployment in a variety of ways, including easing credit and implementing tax cuts.
At the warehouse store in Alexandria, Obama held a roundtable discussion with a small group representing labor and manufacturers and installers of energy efficient material. He said devoting public dollars to retrofitting is an example of the "strategic surgical steps" he hopes to take to stimulate the economy and create jobs while also addressing environmental concerns.
"We've got to get beyond the point where we think being smart on energy is a job destroyer," he said. "It's a job creator."
Standing before tall displays of "Energy Star" insulation, water heaters advertised as "tax-credit eligible" and other products marketed as energy-efficient, then spoke to a larger crowd of members of Congress, Home Depot executives and the media.
"Somebody said at the round table that insulation's not sexy," he said. "I disagree. Here's what's sexy about it: saving money."
Obama was joined by three Virginia Democrats: U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner and representatives Gerald E. Connolly and James P. Moran Jr.
Alexandria Mayor William Euille, U.S. Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Sen.
Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also attended.
Several of the elected officials praised the president for his initiative, but they also expressed concern at the ability of state and federal governments to distribute and properly audit even more money through a second stimulus bill when so much money from the first Recovery Act remains unspent.
"I do think it's important to set up a quick and simple system," Warner said.
Added Connolly: "I'm very sympathetic to the intent, but I think the stimulus is working and needs to be given time to continue working."
Obama's pitch coincided with Vice President Biden's release Monday of a report documenting the "positive impact" of the energy components of the stimulus bill. The act represents the largest single investment in clean energy in U.S. history, Biden said; Obama also noted that the country is on track to double renewable energy production by 2012.
-- Amy Gardner
Christopher Dean Hopkins
December 15, 2009; 1:05 PM ET
Categories: Amy Gardner , Barack Obama , Gerald E. Connolly , James P. Moran Jr. , Mark Warner
Save & Share: Previous: Former Sen. Allen weighs in: No to "Obama-Pelosi" health care
Next: Herrity still undecided on Congressional bid
Posted by: mellwood1 | December 15, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: hz9604 | December 15, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: fairfaxvoter | December 15, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: riain | December 15, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: lpryluck1 | December 15, 2009 3:41 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ReneesOpinion | December 15, 2009 3:50 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: ReplacedbyH1b | December 15, 2009 3:51 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: AWWNats | December 15, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: wewinyoulose | December 15, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: cschotta1 | December 15, 2009 4:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: highwaybluesoccer | December 15, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: mellwood1 | December 16, 2009 4:41 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.