Too often, lost in the back-and-forth of Washington politics, absent in arguments where the facts opponents use depend on the conclusions they’ve already reached, absent all that is this: Ending our dependence on oil, indeed, ending our dependence on fossil fuels, represents perhaps the most difficult challenge we have ever faced — not as a party, not as a set of separate interests, but as a people.
We have over the course of decades slowly built an economy that runs on oil. It has given us much of what we have — for good but also for ill. It has transformed the way we live and work, but it’s also wreaked havoc on our climate. It has helped create gains in prosperity unprecedented in history, but it also places our future in jeopardy.
Ending this dependence will take time. It will take an incredible effort. It will take a historic investment in innovation. But more than anything, it will take a willingness to look past our differences, to act in good faith, to refuse to continue the failures of the past, and to take on this challenge together — for the benefit not just of this generation, but generations to come.
All the people who have gathered here today, all the auto executives, all our outstanding elected officials and appointees — Ron Gettlefinger, members of Congress, governors — all these folks here today have demonstrated that this kind of common effort is possible. They’ve created the template for more progress in the months and years to come. Everything is possible when we’re working together, and we’re off to a great start. So thank you everybody. I appreciate it. (Applause.)
By the way, I just want to mention, I think I still have my Ford parked in Chicago. (Laughter.) It’s a Ford hybrid, it runs great, you guys should take a look. (Laughter.) But there are also some outstanding hybrids — (laughter) — and energy-independent cars represented up here, so I didn’t want to just advertise for one. (Laughter.)
(Source: White House)