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obama speaking at wid turbine factory President Barack Obama speaks during a town hall meeting after touring the Gamesa Technology Corporation wind-energy turbine manufacturing facility April 6, 2011 in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania. (Photo: AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN)

President Talks "Homegrown Energy"

Visit to wind turbine factory promotes clean energy

By Chloe Jones | null null , null

By the year 2035, 80 per cent of the electricity used in the United States should be generated from clean energy sources, said President Barack Obama in a speech on Wednesday. President Obama visited the Gamesa Wind Turbine factory in Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania to talk about an alternative energy policy he unveiled last week. Obama hopes to cut back U.S. dependence on foreign oil imports and regain America's leadership as an innovator of technology.

"I love visiting places where people are actually making stuff, because that's what America is about," Obama told Gamesa employees and their families. "Everybody here, you are helping to build towers that are going to stand 400 feet in the air and generate enough electricity to power 600 homes."

The importance of reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil has become more apparent to U.S. consumers recently. Civil unrest in oil producing countries in the Middle East has caused a sharp increase in gasoline prices, hitting the pocketbook of every American. That increase is also driving up the price of food.

Obama said he wants to double the amount of energy that comes from clean sources, like wind turbines or solar panels.

"We'll become more energy independent," he said. "And we'll spark innovation and entrepreneurship across America. We will be more likely to win the global competition for new jobs and new industries."

Most members of the audience seemed to agree with Obama's take on alternative energy.

"We've been using alternative energy since we were pioneers," said David Buschmann, a former steel worker who now produces wind turbines. "We used to have windmills that would pump water. Doing that more effectively and doing it on a large scale [to produce electricity], I think, is a great idea."

President Obama chose Gamesa as the site for his speech on alternative energy because the company is a pioneer in the wind turbine industry. Gamesa is built on the site of a former U. S. steel factory, which was closed when America lost most of its steel business to foreign competitors.

"I think that what you do here is a glimpse of the future," the President said. "And it's a future where America is less dependent on foreign oil, more reliant on clean energy produced by workers like you…What we want to do is promote all kinds of homegrown energy. That's what's going to help us secure our energy future."


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