Obama Says Republicans Want to End Clean Energy Incentives, Risking Jobs
President Barack Obama said Republicans want to end federal incentives for clean energy development that are helping to reduce the U.S.’s dependence on foreign oil.
“The Republican leadership is promising to scrap all the incentives for clean energy projects, including those currently under way, even with all the jobs and potential that they hold,” the president said in his weekly address on the radio and the Internet. “This doesn’t make sense for our economy.”
Obama highlighted a solar-power project in California’s Mojave Desert by closely held BrightSource Energy Inc., of Oakland, California. Helped by government incentives, Obama said, the facility will provide 1,000 jobs during construction and produce enough energy to power as many as 140,000 homes.
Obama has stepped up his attacks on Republican policies ahead of the Nov. 2 congressional elections, in which Democratic majorities in both chambers are on the line.
“That’s what’s at stake in this debate,” he said.
Obama said the nation must continue to make investments in alternative energy technologies to ensure that “hundreds of thousands” of new jobs are created in the U.S., from factory workers to engineers to construction crews.
“These are jobs building the future,” he said.
In the Republicans address, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, of Kentucky, criticized Democrats for failing to take action to extend expiring tax cuts before Congress left Washington for the election campaigns.
Lower tax rates passed during President George W. Bush’s administration lapse at the end of this year, and lawmakers are at odds over whether to extend the cuts across-the-board or only for incomes below $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.
“At the stroke of midnight on Dec. 31, every American who pays income taxes is set to get a tax hike that Democrats have had two years to prevent,” McConnell said. “The fact is, the best way to help individuals and small businesses and the economy is to give them all the certainty that their taxes won’t be going up at the end of the year.”
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