Obama's teleprompter commits mutiny during major science speech
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Second, in no area will innovation be more important than in the development of new technologies to produce, use, and save energy -- which is why my administration has made an unprecedented commitment to developing a 21st century clean energy economy, and why we put a scientist in charge of the Department of Energy. (Applause.)Skip to next paragraph
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Our future on this planet depends on our willingness to address the challenge posed by carbon pollution. And our future as a nation depends upon our willingness to embrace this challenge as an opportunity to lead the world in pursuit of new discovery.
When the Soviet Union launched Sputnik a little more than a half century ago, Americans were stunned. The Russians had beaten us to space. And we had to make a choice: We could accept defeat or we could accept the challenge. And as always, we chose to accept the challenge.
President Eisenhower signed legislation to create NASA and to invest in science and math education, from grade school to graduate school. And just a few years later, a month after his address to the 1961 Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Sciences, President Kennedy boldly declared before a joint session of Congress that the United States would send a man to the moon and return him safely to the Earth.
The scientific community rallied behind this goal and set about achieving it. And it would not only lead to those first steps on the moon; it would lead to giant leaps in our understanding here at home. That Apollo program produced technologies that have improved kidney dialysis and water purification systems; sensors to test for hazardous gasses; energy-saving building materials; fire-resistant fabrics used by firefighters and soldiers. More broadly, the enormous investment in that era –- in science and technology, in education and research funding –- produced a great outpouring of curiosity and creativity, the benefits of which have been incalculable. There are those of you in this audience who became scientists because of that commitment. We have to replicate that.
There will be no single Sputnik moment for this generation's challenges to break our dependence on fossil fuels. In many ways, this makes the challenge even tougher to solve –- and makes it all the more important to keep our eyes fixed on the work ahead.
But energy is our great project, this generation's great project. And that's why I've set a goal for our nation that we will reduce our carbon pollution by more than 80 percent by 2050. And that is why -- (applause) -- and that is why I'm pursuing, in concert with Congress, the policies that will help meet us -- help us meet this goal.
My recovery plan provides the incentives to double our nation's capacity to generate renewable energy over the next few years -- extending the production tax credit, providing loan guarantees and offering grants to spur investment. Just take one example: Federally funded research and development has dropped the cost of solar panels by tenfold over the last three decades. Our renewed efforts will ensure that solar and other clean energy technologies will be competitive.
My budget includes $150 billion over 10 years to invest in sources of renewable energy as well as energy efficiency. It supports efforts at NASA, recommended as a priority by the National Research Council, to develop new space-based capabilities to help us better understand our changing climate.
And today, I'm also announcing that for the first time, we are funding an initiative -- recommended by this organization -- called the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Energy, or ARPA-E. (Applause.)