Yesterday President Obama visited a Solyndra solar panel factory in Fremont, California that — with help from the stimulus — was able to expand and create green collar jobs for the bay area community. Using the Gulf oil spill as a center point in his speech, the President took the chance to highlight the benefits of renewable energy, and to stress its positive impact on the Earth and our economy. He noted the increasing monetary and environmental costs of oil, its decreasing supply and its effect on global warming. Then he offered us the solution we love to talk about at Inhabitat — let’s place an “emphasis on clean energy.”
The President didn’t sugar coat the issues; he spoke directly and with force: “we all know the price we pay as a country as a result of how we produce and use — and, yes, waste — energy today.” The President added, “climate change poses a threat to our way of life — in fact, we’re already beginning to see its profound and costly impact. And the spill in the Gulf, which is just heartbreaking, only underscores the necessity of seeking alternative fuel sources.” He spoke on how the cost of fossil fuels is so much more than the cash you shell out filling up a tank of gas. The Solyndra factory was the perfect backdrop for this kind of statement. With its glossy technology it is a fitting example of where we should be headed.
“Fifteen years ago, the United States produced 40 percent of the world’s solar panels,” the President noted. “By 2008, our share had fallen to just over 5 percent. I don’t know about you, but I’m not prepared to cede American leadership in this industry.” With a statement like that we can be sure he’s on our side, and the dolling out of stimulus dollars has shown he’s putting his money where his mouth is. Last week we reported on his visit to another stimulus assisted factory in Ohio where he announced $800 million dollars to help repurpose old GM factories into usable space. With his visit to the Solyndra factory he’s highlighting the cutting edge of renewable technology and helping to push our country further into the clean energy industry.