Obama on the Record: Edison Electric Vehicle Center

0319_electric_car_blog

President Barack Obama examines hybrid vehicles during a tour of the Edison Electric Vehicle Technical Center in Pomona, California. (Source: White House)

Remarks by the President at the Edison Electric Vehicle Technical Center

Pomona, California

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you, guys. Thank you. Please, everybody have a seat. Well, first of all, Lavon, what a wonderful story. I can tell you’re a great dad. And Alex is lucky to have you.

I want to make some additional acknowledgments. We’ve got a lot of dignitaries here, people who were helpful in helping to pull this together. First of all, the Congresswoman from this district, Grace Napolitano. There she is right there. (Applause.) We’ve got Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod. (Applause.) Did I pronounce that properly? No? Why don’t you help me out?

SENATOR NEGRETE McLEOD: Negrete McLeod.

THE PRESIDENT: Negrete McLeod. So nice to see you. Assemblywoman Norma Torres. Senator Christine Kehoe. (Applause.) Good to see you. Senator Ron Calderon. (Applause.) We’ve got the Mayor of Long Beach, Mayor Bob Foster is here. (Applause.) We’ve got the Mayor of Pomona, Mayor Elliott Rothman. (Applause.) We’ve got Village Academy High School students who are here. (Applause.) Ted Craver, who is the CEO of Edison International, is here, and just helped us on the tour. Go ahead and stand. (Applause.) Thank you, Ted. We’ve got Al Fohrer, who is the CEO of Southern California Edison, who is here. (Applause.) We have Ed Kjaer, who just gave me the tour, right here. (Applause.) Pat Lavin, Business Manager, IBEW Local 47. (Applause.)

Thank you all for taking the time to be here. And it is good to be back in California. It’s always — always nice to get out of Washington for a little bit, recharge your batteries. (Applause.) You know a little bit about that here. (Laughter.) I want to thank the folks here at the Electric Vehicle Technical Center for the tour we just had.

Yesterday, I was in Costa Mesa talking with people about this economic downturn that we’re in. It’s a downturn that’s hitting this state as much as any state in the union. One out of 10 Californians are out of work and actively looking for jobs. The foreclosure crisis has had a devastating impact on Southern California in particular. But Californians aren’t just bearing the brunt of this crisis — you are doing what needs to be done to overcome it.

This workshop is a perfect example of that. Day by day, test by test, trial by painstaking trial, the scientists, the engineers, the workers at this site are developing the ideas and innovations that our future depend on. It’s your ingenuity that will help create the new jobs and new industries of tomorrow.

I know it’s not easy. There are days, I’m sure, when progress seems fleeting, and days when it feels like you’re making no progress at all. That’s how it feels in the White House sometimes, too. (Laughter.) But often, our greatest discoveries are born not in

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