Barack Obama photo

The President's Weekly Address

May 07, 2011

Hi. I'm speaking with you today from the Allison Transmission plant at Indianapolis, Indiana. I came here because this is a place where American workers are doing some big and impressive things.

The hybrid technology they manufacture here already powers nearly 4,000 buses all over the world, buses that have already saved 15 million gallons of fuel. Soon, they'll expand this new technology to trucks as well. That means more vehicles using less oil, and that means jobs, more than 200 new workers at this plant alone.

That's important because even as the economy is growing after one of the worst recessions in our history, even as we've added more than 2 million new private sector jobs over the past 14 months, I still meet and hear from Americans struggling to get out of their own personal recessions.

A lot of folks out there are still looking for work. And many folks who do have jobs are finding that their paychecks aren't keeping up with the rising costs of everything from tuition to groceries to gas prices. In fact, in a lot of places across the country, like here in Indiana, gas has reached an alltime high.

So although our economy hasn't been the focus of the news this week, not a day that goes by that I'm not focused on your jobs, your hopes, and your dreams. And that's why I came here to Allison Transmission.

The clean energy jobs at this plant are the jobs of the future, jobs that pay well right here in America. And 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.

Allison Transmission is also part of the ultimate solution to high gas prices. We know there are no quick fixes to this problem. In the short term, we're doing everything we can to boost safe and responsible oil production here at home. In fact, last year, American oil production reached its highest level since 2003.

But 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.

Other countries know this, and they're going all in to invest in clean energy technologies and clean energy jobs. I don't want other countries to win the competition for these technologies and these jobs. I want America to win that competition. I want America to win the future.

Now, I know that in a tough fiscal climate like the one we're in, it's tempting for some to try and cut back on our investments in clean energy. And I absolutely agree that the only way we'll be able to afford the things we need is by cutting the things we don't and living within our means. But I refuse to cut investments like clean energy that will help us outinnovate and outcompete the rest of the world. I refuse to cut investments that are making it possible for plants like this one to grow and add jobs across America.

We can do this. I don't just believe that because I see it happening in plants like this. I believe that because I believe in the Americans that are making it happen in places like this. I'm optimistic about our economic future, because for all the challenges we face, America is still home to the most entrepreneurial, most industrious, most determined people on Earth. There's nothing we can't accomplish when we set our minds to it. And that's what we'll keep doing as long as I have the privilege of being your President.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

Note: The address was recorded at approximately 12:40 p.m. on May 6 at Allison Transmission, Inc., in Indianapolis, IN, for broadcast on May 7. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on May 6, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on May 7.

Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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