Next Steps on Comprehensive Energy Reform
Yesterday I returned from my fifth trip to the Gulf Coast region since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil rig burned into the sea and left the worst oil spill this country has ever seen in its wake. A team of Administration officials met with Governors, mayors, parish presidents and other local officials from four states and reiterated President Obama's promise to the people of the Gulf Coast region: We will not be satisfied until the leak is stopped, the oil in the Gulf is cleaned up, and the livelihoods of the people in the Gulf Coast region have been fully restored.
There's another important message for every American: The disaster in the Gulf is a wake-up call that we need a new strategy for a clean energy future, including passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation.
A lot of Americans are asking what this comprehensive energy reform will look like and whether we can really move towards a clean energy future. This afternoon at 4 p.m. EDT, Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, will host a live chat on WhiteHouse.gov to talk about this issue:
Shifting to a clean energy economy won't be easy. For decades, we have grappled with the issue of how to end our addiction to fossil fuels. And for decades, we have lacked the political will and courage to take this important step towards securing our environment, our economy and our security.
To anyone who thinks this can't be done, take a look at President Obama's track record of working with Congress to deliver the change that our country needs. Here are three examples:
The health care reforms of the Affordable Care Act bring the stability and security for American families that seven Presidents tried -- and failed -- to deliver;
The Recovery Act is widely regarded as a critical measure that prevented another depression and saved or created more than 2 million jobs;
Reform of student loans makes higher education more affordable, allowing students to get loans without relying on large banks as unnecessary middlemen.
Now is the time to work with the same determination on comprehensive energy reform. Just today, I joined the President at a meeting with Senators from both parties to discuss how to move forward.
We also want to hear from you, so be sure to join the live chat with Heather Zichal at 4 p.m. EDT today:
Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change
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