Obama Touts New Environmental Reform

President Obama Discusses energy efficiency efforts in San Jose, CA.
20:03 | 05/10/14

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Transcript for Obama Touts New Environmental Reform
This is a special room. Why don't I talked about it later because I'm just about to finish UN mission we'll talk about it I'm going to be coming around. -- -- -- -- -- screwed -- Miami international. Further Obama getting heckled last night -- Silicon Valley protesters demanding freedom. For Ethiopia more demonstrations on tap for today as workers are gathered outside his speech. At a Wal-Mart in Mountain View California the president out west talking energy efficiency. And when he's gonna get home tonight he will walk White House -- retro fitted with state of the art solar panels the first. Let's take inside -- where presidents is making its way up to the podium. Okay. Okay. -- -- Actually my third in the West Coast. On Wednesday we want to know -- of them went to San Diego were here in the Bay Area. But I have to get back. Because -- is what. Mother's Day -- public service announcement do not forget. -- Mother's Day. I don't Michelle -- -- the how come people put so much emphasis. On Mother's Day and Father's Day not so much. She said. Every day other than Mother's Day is Father's Day. Right now. -- thank your mayor Chris Clark for hosting us. The folks at -- and I know this looks like a typical Wal-Mart but it is different. And that's that's why I'm here. -- Few years ago you decide to put solar panels. On the roof of the -- Your place out traditional light bulbs. With -- case. You made refrigerated cases more fish. You can put a charging station for electric vehicles. And also all those upgrades created dozens of construction jobs. And help -- or save money on its energy bills. And that's why I'm here today because more and more companies like Wal-Mart are realizing the wasting the last energy isn't just good for the planet. Good for business. It's good for the bottom line. -- Changing the way we use energy just one of the ways Americans have been working so hard to move this country for. In the wake of the worst financial crisis many economic crisis in generations. Our business is now created. Overnight point two million new jobs. Housing market. That was really here is rebounding. Auto industry that was flat -- is now booming you've got a manufacturing sector that. Have lost a third of those jobs during the nineties and now it's adding jobs for the first time. More than eight million Americans have now signed up for health care coverage through the Affordable Care Act. Troops were fighting two wars are coming home and rather than. Create jobs and other countries more companies are actually -- six. Create jobs and invest right here in the United States of America. But we've got a long way to go. Before. We get to where we need to -- we're Jews an economy where everybody. Who works are -- takes responsibility. Has chance to get ahead and that we have the chance. Build an economy the -- it's not just for a few of the top but forever. That's our goal -- that no matter who we are no matter what you look like no matter where you come from what your last name is if you work are. -- take responsibility. You can make -- your honor. And that starts -- helping businesses create more good jobs. One of the biggest factors in bringing jobs back to America has been our commitment to American energy over the last five years. When I took office we set out to break our dependence on foreign oil. Today America is closer energy independence then we have been in decades. We generate more renewable energy than ever -- tens of thousands of good American jobs to show for. We produce more natural gas than anyone in nearly everybody's energy bill is lower because there. So are our carbon emissions that cause. Climate change. We set new fuel standards for our cars and trucks so that the vote twice as far on a gallon gas by the -- the next decade that -- the typical family. About 8000 dollars at the -- And for the first time in nearly twenty years. America produces more oil here -- we buy from other countries. So. We were producing more traditional energy and but -- also becoming a leader in the energy sources the future. We're becoming a global leader in solar thanks in parts of investments we made. In the Recovery Act. Over the past few years the cost of solar panels have fallen by 60%. Solar installations have increased by 500%. Every four minutes another American home -- business goes so. And every panel is -- into -- by a worker whose job cannot be shipped overseas. So today no matter where you live. Or where you do business. -- getting cheaper and it's getting easier to use them before. And -- more businesses. And rural cooperatives in homes choosing so. Prices keep coming down. Manufacturers. Keep getting more intimate. And more jobs are created. Last year jobs in the solar industry increased by. 20%. We got more work to do I don't want work with congress to -- unfortunately congress is not always been as visionary on these issues as we would like. -- -- -- But in this year action wherever I can't go ahead and create my own. Opportunities for new jobs I'm gonna take it. So far I've taken more than twenty executive actions. From launching new -- to attracting more high tech manufacturing jobs America. To reforming our job training programs to make sure more Americans are getting the skills they need. To get the jobs that exist right now and so today here at Wal-Mart. I want announce a few more steps that would take them that are going to be good for job growth and good for our -- and that we don't have to wait for congress to do. They're gonna. These steps would generate more clean energy waste -- energy overall and leave our kids. Our grandkids with a cleaner safer planet in the process to -- -- -- out. Number one. We know that making buildings more energy efficient -- -- one. The easiest cheapest ways to create jobs save money and cut down on harmful pollution that causes climate change. Because save our businesses tens of billions of dollars a year on their energy. And that -- -- -- -- Grown higher more problems. -- would put construction workers back to work. Installing new systems and technology so this is what you call a win win win. So that's why three years ago I announced what we called the better buildings -- It's an ambitious plan to improve the energy efficiency of America's commercial buildings by 20%. By the year 21. And already we've got a 190 businesses and organizations that have signed off. On average they're on track to meet their goal cutting energy use -- two and a half percent every single year. Together they've already saved 300 million dollars in energy costs. So we know it works. That's why the past few months I've been picking up the far reaching out to moral leaders to get them on board and today they're stepping up. From cities school districts businesses and universities. You're seeing folks. Move. On energy efficiency -- GM is pledging. To improve energy efficiency in 31 plants. University of Virginia is doing the same thing in its buildings cities like Little Rock Kansas City and Detroit are replacing regular street -- -- more efficient LEDs. And Wal-Mart you're committed to reducing energy consumption across 850 million square feet of space. That's why. That's enough to cover more than half of the city's San Francisco. Taken together this is gonna make a difference and -- the right thing to do for the planet but it's also the right thing to do for the bottom line. Because when you save -- money you can just pass that money back to consumers in the form of lower prices. Or. You can -- -- great more jobs. Some folks in -- private sector are doing their part to create jobs and reduce pollution and cut -- I'm making sure the federal government does its part. Two years ago I ordered two billion dollars and energy upgrades to federal buildings. Today I'm ordering an additional two billion dollars and operates over the next three years. And these upgrades won't break tens of thousands of construction jobs and save taxpayers billions of dollars. The Department of Energy is putting -- new efficiency standard. The set of efficiency standards in place -- could save businesses billions of dollars and energy costs and cut carbon pollution. As the equivalent of take about eighty million cars off the road. And I want to thank. Early morning secretary of energy and secretary Donovan Shaun Donovan of -- -- here today because they've shown extraordinary leadership on these issues. That's first announcement. City schools businesses federal government were all gonna pledge to waste less energy and we got concrete strategies. That we know work. Second amount is about more Americans coming together to use more clean energy. Last month I called up leaders from whole range of industries. And -- economic case for why solar is a good idea and they let's. And today more than 300 organizations. From home builders to affordable housing owners to companies like Home Depot and apple. Announced that they are going to expand the use of solar energy thereby creating more jobs and cutting carbon pollution. We've got public banks like America's green bank. And private banks like Goldman Sachs ready to invest billions of dollars in renewable energy. The Treasury Department and IRS are making it easier for renewable energy companies to operate and attract investment. And we're gonna support training programs at Community Colleges across the country. That will help 50000. Workers -- -- the skills that solar companies are looking for right now. Wal-Mart sorry. Got the most installed on site solar capacity of any company in America. Now -- announced plans to double that to -- And it's all part of your goal to buyer produced seven billion kilowatt hours of renewable energy by point one. Something that could save -- Wal-Mart one billion dollars a year in energy costs. So we know that generating more clean energy using less dirty energy wasting less energy overall can be good for business and consumers. It's also good for the world we leave virtual. So together the commandments were announcing today. Prove that there are cost effective ways to tackle climate change and create jobs at the same time. So often when we here about how we're gonna deal -- this really serious issue people say we can't afford to do it. Won't be good for the economy. It will be good for the economy long term and if we don't that -- be bad for the economy. Rising sea levels. Dropped. More wildfires. More severe storms. -- bad for the economy. So we can't afford to wait and there's no reason why we can't even go further than we are so far. By working with states and utilities and other organizations to change the way we power our economy. Climate change -- -- and we have to act now. You know earlier this week I issued or re issued a report. It was years in the making called -- national climate assessment hundreds of scientists experts and businesses. Not for profits local communities all contributed over the course of four years. What they found was unequivocally. That climate change is not some borrow problem in the future it's happening now. It's causing. Hardship now it's affecting every sector of our economy and our society. More severe floods more violent wildfires. Already costing cities and states and -- and businesses money. During California's -- effects person and you know what's happening. And increasingly more and more Americans do including by the way many Republicans outside of Washington. So. Unfortunately -- out of Washington we've still got some. Climate and iris who shout loud. But there was ever a time on a subtle debate climate changes effect. And while we know the shift to clean energy. Won't happen overnight. We got to make some tough choices along the way. And we know that if we do. It's gonna save us ultimately money and create jobs over long -- that's what Wal-Mart understands -- it's pretty good. Kind of expects. So. That's why this fight assault -- That's why the sooner we work together to adapt the economy. To our. Two to this reality of climate change. More likely it is that we do right Americans. And leave -- more stable. And an -- -- that's what. Motivates a whole lot of us. You know as Americans we don't look backwards we -- -- we don't fear the future we season we shape it. And when it comes and urging. We have a chance. To shape. That sector that is probably gonna have more do with. How well our economy succeeds -- just about any other. We are blessed when it comes to energy but were much more blessed when it comes to the innovation. And the dynamism and the creativity. Of our top. We do our part right now to rebuild an economy in transition to a clean energy future. We will create new jobs will reduce our dependence on foreign world we will leave our children. What better American better future to thank you very much -- but. God blessed thank all the confidence. On the right -- -- -- not for profits we appreciate your leadership. -- Mother's Day moms. President Obama talking climate change energy efficiency in California there -- Mountain -- at Wal-Mart. Of course -- keep watching his remarks live stream channel but. For now I wanna go to Mary Bruce -- standing by outside the White House there. -- why Wal-Mart what was that use as a backdrop for today's speech. Well it's funny the president of course is doing what Americans do all the time just going by your neighborhood Wal-Mart he chose this Mountain View location because this particular store. As recently put solar panels on the roof as he mentioned they've retrofitted from top to bottom. -- everything they can't become more energy efficient and now President Obama of course has become the first sitting president to ever visit Wal-Mart. That's a big day for the retail giant but it's also a decision that's drawing a lot of fire Wal-Mart has really been under the microscope recently for the way it treats its workers. Being criticized for. Having bad wages -- hours bad benefits discriminating against women so while the president's been delivering his remarks on energy inside the store. Outside the store there have been some union demonstrators protesting his appearance in his decision to be there at this one on -- -- -- energy solar panels are back on the White House today but this isn't the first time that the White House has been fitted right. That's right can only time to the president's speech today the White House announced its solar panels are back up here at 16100 Pennsylvania Avenue actually. Right appear on his roof behind me. And as you mentioned this is not the first time that they've been here this White House has now spent in four years I think since the president first announced plans to put these panels back up. It was really part of that. And move to show that he's leading by example of course the couple solar panels I don't think are going to be able to to. Just charge up all the energy that's needed here at this huge building here. But actually President Carter was the first one who put solar panels on. What is one of the most prominent roofs and all of America but -- President Reagan took them down it's been about 28 years since we've -- solar panels here at the White House and from what I've seen the estimates for the cost of installation in the production is gonna pay for itself I guess the White House is -- -- about eight years time correct. Yet -- try to put out these figures of course trying to encourage people to go ahead and pay those upfront cost to make these changes to add solar panels to use those. More expensive light balls but that ultimately all of those costs -- payoff in the end of the the president also olives and executive actions -- to curb carbon pollution what what's the real impact was the White House and these actions are gonna have. That's ready outlined a -- -- it not time -- -- several steps hearing all executive actions aimed at increasing energy efficiency he wants to take additional steps to try to retrofit a lot of the federal buildings here around Washington also steps to boost. A clean energy job creation but in the grand scheme of things and these are all really small -- items. But they're all aimed at trying to draw attention to this administration's efforts to go ahead and face the climate change issue this has been something they've been hammering away on. All week long trying to get more public support behind his administration's broader efforts. To try and curb climate change going to face this issue head on but. None of that is really gonna make much of a different than bless you get lawmakers on board but as you heard the president say this is part of his ongoing -- action as he calls it all of these steps that he's taking to show that he's willing to go ahead and take steps to circumvent. The gridlock in congress. And take action with or without them. Well at least one. Thing going for the White House this afternoon the sun appears to be out there is so those solar panels get a good work on this first -- -- revealed. ABC's neighbors outside the White House right thank you so much every weekend. Thanks to this has been an ABC news staged a special report -- president of bombing can over the story real time by downloading the ABC news happens star in this story for exclusive updates on the go. For now though and Dan -- New York.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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