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article imageObama touts green energy as job engine, seeks contrast with GOP

By Michael Krebs     Oct 2, 2010 in Politics
President Obama used his weekly radio address to more fully paint the contrast between Democrats and Republicans on the relationship between green energy and jobs.
"It's the economy, stupid" was the phrase that helped Bill Clinton defeat George H. W. Bush in the 1992 U.S. presidential contest. Ahead of the 2010 midterm elections - or maybe to lay the groundwork for the 2012 presidential race - President Obama used his weekly radio address to draw a direct connection between job creation and the implementation of green energy infrastructure.
It's green energy, stupid.
The roll out of green energy projects and technologies "will mean hundreds of thousands of new American jobs by 2012," President Obama said. "Jobs for contractors to install energy-saving windows and insulation. Jobs for factory workers to build high-tech vehicle batteries and electric cars and hybrid trucks. Jobs for engineers and construction crews to create wind farms and solar plants that are going to double the renewable energy we can generate in this country."
However, the Republican opposition - according to President Obama - is not supportive of this plan, desiring instead "to scrap all of the incentives for clean energy projects, including all of those currently underway."
The U.S. economy has been stuck in neutral - and with November's crucial midterm elections just around the corner - the unemployment rate remains just under 10 percent. The unemployment issue has been tethered to the Democratic Party, and Republicans are running on a platform of tax and spending cuts, presenting a "Contract With America" - and are widely expected to pick up waves of seats in the House and Senate, and Governorships nationwide.
President Obama has been working to reverse Republican gains in public opinion, recently touring parts of the country through backyard engagements meant to sway voters.
The Obama administration has been criticized for not expressing a coherent plan on modern energy infrastructure projects, and the radio address may also attempt to lessen that criticism.
"We can go back to the failed energy policies that profited the oil companies but weakened our economy. We can go back to the days when promising industries got set up overseas. Or we can go after new jobs in growing industries," Obama concluded.
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