By Andrew Restuccia - 01/25/12 02:38 AM EST
Obama’s remarks reflect the new political reality in Washington. After climate legislation collapsed on Capitol Hill in 2010, prospects for major energy bills became dim.
The majority of the world’s scientists say that climate change is occurring and caused in large part as a result of human activity. Scientists warn that major action must be taken quickly to reduce the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, but international climate talks have not produced major progress.
Meanwhile, Republicans and some moderate Democrats in Congress have questioned climate science and worked to block or delay Environmental Protection Agency regulations aimed at addressing global warming.
In his speech Tuesday, Obama outlined steps aimed at promoting clean energy.
“I’m directing my Administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power three million homes,” Obama said.
He also announced that the Navy would purchase enough renewable energy capacity to power 250,000 homes a year.
The investments that the administration has already made in clean energy have boosted the economy and created jobs, Obama said.
“Because of federal investments, renewable energy use has nearly doubled,” he said. “And thousands of Americans have jobs because of it.”
At the same time, Obama called on Congress to pass energy efficiency legislation to “help manufacturers eliminate energy waste in their factories and give businesses incentives to upgrade their buildings.”