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USA should back renewable energy technology

Aug. 31, 2011, Washington, D.C. – U.S. Vice-president Joe Biden defends the Obama administration's efforts to expand the use of renewable energy, saying that if the United States chooses not to lead the world in new energy technologies, it will be one of the “biggest mistakes” the country has made.


August 31, 2011
By Argus Media

Aug. 31, 2011, Washington, D.C. – U.S.
Vice-president Joe Biden defends the Obama administration's efforts to expand
the use of renewable energy, saying that if the United States chooses not to
lead the world in new energy technologies, it will be one of the “biggest
mistakes” the country has made.

“If we do not lead in new energy
technology, we will follow,” he says.

Biden pushed back against congressional Republicans, who have sought to slash
funding for many of the administration's top clean energy programs such as loan
guarantees and research and development for advanced technologies. “I can
assure you, the president and I are not going to listen to those voices,” he said
in a speech at the National Clean Energy Summit 4.0 in Las Vegas.

Energy secretary Steven Chu delivered
similar remarks earlier in the day, saying the federal government has played an
“incredibly intimate role” in many important technological milestones, from
construction of the transcontinental railroad in the mid-19th century to
putting a man on the moon in 1969. “We must not lose sight of that fact,” he
said.

Chu highlighted three steps he thinks the
government can take at little or no cost to taxpayers: supporting research and
development of advanced energy technologies, setting a national clean energy
standard, and creating a Clean Energy Deployment Administration.

Biden's and Chu's comments come just days
ahead of a planned speech in which U.S. President Barack Obama will outline
proposals to help improve the U.S. economy and create jobs. Many clean energy
advocates hope the president will call for continued efforts to develop and
deploy renewable energy technologies.

Senate majority leader Harry Reid
(D-Nevada), who also spoke at the conference, has said he intends to bring up
jobs legislation that will include a clean energy component, though he has not
yet mentioned any specific proposals. He says supporting the renewables sector
is “the best way to create good-paying jobs.”

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