Video by Whitney Harris/CNS-TV
In his speech to students at the Prince George’s Community College, President Barack Obama stressed the importance of clean energy jobs, and said that community colleges are in a unique position to prepare students to take them on.
“Community colleges are critical to our long-term success. What’s also critical to our long-term success is the question of energy: How do we use less energy? How do we produce more energy right here in the United States of America?” he said.
Isaiah Weaver, a student at the College, agrees green jobs are important, but says Obama isn’t doing enough to create them.
“I would like him to focus almost entirely on clean energy,” Weaver said.
Still, Obama said he’s done more than his opponents for the energy industry, and he defended his energy policy against those he calls naysayers, and politicians who he says are stuck in the past.
“They dismiss wind power. They dismiss solar power. They make jokes about biofuels. They were against raising fuel standards. I guess they like gas-guzzlers…. We’re trying to move towards the future,” he said.
Obama also said he understands Americans are struggling with high gas prices. However, “there’s no silver bullet,” when it comes to lowering prices at the pump, he said.
He even poked fun at his Republican opponents, saying they think the solution is too simple.
“In an election year, politicians dust off their 3-point plans for $2.00 gas,” he said. “I guess this year they decided, we’re going to make it $2.50. I don’t know… why not $2.40? Why not $2.10?”
People lined up outside the Novak Field House, on the campus of the college, starting at 4:30 a.m. to hear Obama speak, and although there were more than 1,000 students, faculty and staff in attendance, there were still a few sets of empty bleachers.
The president promised that if he stays in office, he will make sure American cars would average 55 miles per gallon, nearly double the mileage most people get today.
“We can’t have an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past. We need an energy strategy for the future,” he said.