Obama pushes green tech as an answer for jobs, gas prices

Touting the success of a manufacturing plant he visited in Indiana, President Obama said Saturday that clean energy businesses are the key to new jobs and lower energy prices in America.

"In the years ahead, it’s clean energy companies like this one that will keep our economy growing, create new jobs, and make sure America remains the most prosperous nation in the world," Obama said from the Allison Transmission plant in Indianapolis, where he taped his weekly address.

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The economy added 268,000 private-sector jobs in April, although total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 244,000 in April, according to Friday’s report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with state and local governments continuing to cut workers.

Despite the job gains, the unemployment rate actually ticked up from 8.8 percent to 9 percent. The job figures and unemployment rate are based on different sets of data.

Obama also said that businesses like Allison Transmission, which manufactures hybrid technology, are the key to reducing America's dependence on oil and to controlling gas prices.

"Over the long term, the only way we can avoid being held hostage to the ups and downs of oil prices is if we reduce our dependence on oil. That means investing in clean, alternative sources of energy, like advanced biofuels and natural gas. And that means making cars and trucks and buses that use less oil," the president said.

The national average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.98, according to AAA's Fuel Gauge Report. That average price is 5 cents more than last week, but the price of oil retreated below $100 per barrel earlier in the week.

Obama said that, even in a difficult economic climate where government spending must be cut, funding and incentives for green technology projects should be spared.

"I refuse to cut investments like clean energy that will help us out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world," he said. "I refuse to cut investments that are making it possible for plants like this one to grow and add jobs across America."

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