President Barack Obama visited a Bucks County wind turbine factory Wednesday to promote his new energy plan. He wants to reduce oil imports by a third over the next 10 years. That means boosting alternative energy sources such as wind and solar.
The president also wants to promote the development of domestic natural gas reserves such as Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. He said although natural gas burns cleaner than coal, he wants to make sure the method of extracting the gas doesn’t contaminate drinking water.
“Nobody’s an environmentalist until they get sick. And it turns out, gosh, why didn’t somebody tell me that this affects the water we drink or the air we breathe or what have you?” he said. “So we have to do some science there to make sure that the natural gas that we have in this country we’re extracting in a safe way.”
The president spoke for about half an hour before taking questions at the Gamesa Wind Corporation turbine factory in Fairless Hills.
Gamesa mechanic Jerry Holt wanted to know if Obama could find a way to lower gas prices, right away. Holt told Obama he has 10 kids, and two SUVs.
“You know, if you’re complaining about the price of gas and you’re only getting 8 miles to the gallon … well you may have a big family, but it’s probably not that big,” said Obama. “How many? You have 10 kids you say? Ten kids?”
Obama suggested he trade in one of his vehicles for a more fuel-efficient car.
“So we can’t just drill our way out of the problem. The second thing we can do is increase efficiency on our cars and trucks, which is where most of our oil is used,” he said.
After the event, Holt said he would find some way to keep gas in his car. He said he was just happy to talk to the president.
“It’s awesome, it’s awesome. Actually my kids, when I told them, they asked me if I was gonna be on TV and meet the president and I said maybe I will, I wasn’t sure,” said Holt. “But, it’s awesome.”