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MEDIA STATEMENT: WRI Response to President Obama's State of the Union Address

President Obama delivered his annual State of the Union address setting new goals for America's energy future.

Here are some of the targets he announced:

  • By 2035, 80 percent of America's electricity should come from clean energy;

  • By 2015, America should have 1 million electric vehicles on the road; and

  • Within 25 years, 80% of Americans should have access to high-speed rail.

Following is statement by Jonathan Lash, President, World Resources Institute:

“President Obama made a renewed call for American leadership in clean energy that will create jobs while helping protect the environment. Obama's declaration of a Sputnik moment is a reminder of the opportunity before us to shift to an energy future that can make America’s economy the most competitive and innovative in the world.

“Setting a new clean energy goal, the President made a strong commitment to America’s clean energy future. America should be setting the pace by investing in sustainable infrastructure, developing new technologies, and finding innovative solutions to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

“But more is needed to truly protect the planet– especially from the threats of climate change. After a year of record-breaking temperatures and a string of notable extreme weather events, the urgency of shifting to low-carbon energy and tackling climate change is as clear as ever. Yet there is a widening gap between what the science tells us is needed and action on the ground-- and America needs to do more to reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020.

"We hope leaders across the country-- from business executives to mayors to legislators-- recognize the threats we face and will rise to achieve the goals the President has set."

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