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President Obama Talks Clean Energy At Facebook Town Hall

April 25, 2011 - 10:24am


President Obama hosted a town hall at Facebook’s headquarters last Wednesday to discuss the direction of our country and the challenges we face. Importantly to us, he highlighted the importance of science education and clean energy innovation throughout the conversation.

Check out the video below for President Obama's comments on why investments in science education and clean energy research and innovation are critical to moving our country forward and strengthening America energy security.

On the topic of the budget and the importance of investing in areas critical to our security and economy:

"We can still invest in something we call ARPA-E, which is like DARPA except just focused on energy, so that we can figure out what are the next breakthrough technologies that can help us reduce our reliance on fossil fuels."

"I don't know how we free ourselves from dependence on foreign oil -- and anybody who is paying gas prices knows that there’s an economic component to this as well as an environmental component to it -- if we’re not investing in the basic research and technology that allows solar, wind and others to thrive and develop."

While discussing the economy and the purpose and impact of the 2009 Recovery Act:

"We made the largest investment in history in clean energy research, and it’s really paying off. For example, when I came into office, we had about 2 percent of the advanced battery manufacturing here in America. And as everybody here knows, what’s really holding us back from my goal of a million electric vehicles on the road is that battery technology is still tough. It’s clunky; it’s heavy; it’s expensive. And if we can make significant improvements in battery technology then I think the opportunities for electric vehicles, alternative vehicles that are much cheaper -- our opportunities are limitless."

On education:

"And that's why we’re emphasizing math and science. That's why we’re emphasizing teaching girls math and science. That's why we’re emphasizing making sure that black and Hispanic kids are getting math and science. 

We’ve got to do such a better job when it comes to STEM education. And that’s one of the reasons, by the way, that we had our first science fair at the White House in a very long time, just because we want to start making science cool. I want people to feel the same way about the next big energy breakthrough or the next big Internet breakthrough, I want people to feel the same way they felt about the moon launch -- that that’s how we’re going to stay competitive for the future. And that’s why these investments in education are so important."

You can read the President's full remark's here