Obama champions clean energy in Colo. visit

7:04 PM, Jan 26, 2012   |    comments
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Video: Obama to turn attention to energy in CO visit

Video: Obama to turn attention to energy in CO visit

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 24: U.S. President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union adddress on January 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. Obama said the focal point his speech is the central mission of our country, and his central focus as president, including 'rebuilding an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded.' (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

DECISION 2012 ELECTION COVERAGE

The President focused on clean energy in his Colorado speech.

"I'm directing my administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to power three million homes," Obama said. "And the military is doing its part. The Navy is going to purchase enough clean energy capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year. That's not going to cost taxpayers a dime."

The President pointed to a solar project at Buckley Air Force Base as an example, and also mentioned the fact that the base was the first to test biofuel in military aircraft.

Obama mentioned a series of naval exercises that will be powered by biofuel and argued several times that fostering new clean energy in the military is a national security issue.

Republicans think that's a bit overblown.

"Certainly conservation is appropriate everywhere," said Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colorado.) "But when the president does it for ideological purposes to score political points with a constituency that he thinks he needs to win reelection, then it's just not appropriate."

Coffman worries that spending on new green energy proposals in the military will only force further cuts to military personnel.

The President did highlight civilian green energy proposals, calling on Congress to pass tax incentives to encourage green energy development and announcing that the Department of Interior plans to lease out enough renewable energy projects to power three million homes.

While not technically a campaign event, the President did make what sounded like a soft response to rhetoric from the Republican candidates seeking to oppose him, addressing the idea that his administration is creating a "welfare state."

"[Americans] don't expect a handout. They don't expect anything to come easy. But they do expect that if they're doing the right thing then they can have a sense of security and dignity," Obama said. "That's the basic promise we need to restore."

(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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