Anna Aurilio,
Environment America

Renewable Energy and Efficiency Are the Keys to Energy Security

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Obama spoke at Georgetown University today at 11:20 AM to outline his plans for America’s energy security.

Anna Aurilio, Director of Environment America’s Washington D.C. office, released the following statement:

“We wake up every morning to more bad news about the danger and instability of our current dirty fuel mix. It’s time to tap into American ingenuity for a cleaner, healthier energy future. President Obama’s speech today shone a spotlight on important steps that the government has taken  -- from new cars standards that will help us get off oil, to energy efficiency programs that save consumers money and reduce our consumption of energy, to new offshore wind projects that can power our homes and businesses cleanly.

“This very day, Congress is launching various attacks on the Clean Air Act that would cripple our ability to move forward and threaten our energy security for years to come. The president’s affirmation of his commitment to continue this important work to move away from our use of dirty, dangerous energy like oil is an important message of hope in a time of uncertainty and of escalating energy concerns.

“Our continued addiction to oil is one threat to our energy security that must be immediately addressed—it has pumped millions of tons of pollution into our atmosphere, and tragic oil spills, like BP’s spill in the Gulf, have dumped millions of gallons on our coasts. Now, instability in the Middle East, along with other factors, is forcing us to pay millions more at the pump. The only way that we can overcome the overwhelming consequences of our oil dependence is to get off oil.

“While we applaud President Obama’s call to reduce oil imports by one third in the next decade, stronger action is necessary.  We must decrease our oil dependence more rapidly and more comprehensively. The oil we drill for in the United States does the same damage to our health, threatens our coasts and waterways, and does nothing to alleviate the gas prices that plague consumers every day. Measures to get off oil, such as the measures the president has taken to invest in high speed rail and public transit, as well as his critical steps in issuing new fuel standards for vehicles, will start alleviating consumer costs as early as this year. 

“Now, the president must focus on his plans to establish car and truck standards that will take us through 2025. According to research by the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Union of Concerned Scientists, getting our cars and light trucks to 60 miles per gallon in the next 14 years would save Americans $101 billion at the gas pump in 2030 and cut our use of oil by nearly one-third of the gas used by cars and light trucks by 2025. Let’s create the cars that will leave our oil dependence and all of the problems that come with it in the dust.

“While the President set out some strong plans for reducing dependence on oil, his continued support of dangerous, dirty and expensive sources of energy, like nuclear power, is a disappointment. The events unfolding in Japan are a wake-up call for Americans about the dangers of nuclear power. Our current use of nuclear power is gambling with the environment and our families’ health. Unfortunately, in Japan Mother Nature has yet again proven stronger than anything we can design. We must act now to ensure the relative safety of existing plants, put a moratorium on any new plants, and begin to phase out our use nuclear power not expand it.

“The havoc that outdated fuels wreak on our health, our environment, and our wallets demands that we put American ingenuity to work and create true energy security. We are heartened by the steps President Obama has taken so far to create a clean energy economy.  We hope that President Obama will rise to the occasion again and focus on stepping forward to end the country’s costly dependence on oil and investing in clean, renewable energy -- that is the only way to a stronger, more secure America.”