Posted by: Audiegrl
Clean Energy Leadership from the White House to Main Street
President Barack Obama tours a farm with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, and Marcia Schachtsiek in Palmyra, Mo., April 28, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
~Over the past two days, President Obama traveled to Iowa, Missouri and Illinois as part of his Main Street tour. He witnessed the hardships that Americans are facing from the economic crisis that plagues our nation. However, he also witnessed the possibilities and opportunities for growth that are happening all over the country, through investment in our clean energy economy.
After traveling throughout Iowa, touring a farm and holding a town hall meeting at a Community College, on Wednesday the President headed to Macon, Missouri. Macon is home to the POET Biorefinery, a plant that produces ethanol from crops grown right here in the United States.
President Barack Obama with Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, tour the POET Biorefining Plant in Macon, Mo., April 28, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)
Families in Macon and Fort Madison, like many others across this nation, know all-too-well the hardships of this recession. But these towns, and many others across the country, are getting back to their feet – and we are doing all we can to help. Last year we made the largest investment in the clean energy economy in our nation’s history, which is expected to create more than 700,000 jobs by the end of 2012. These are jobs not just in providing the parts and technology to create power from the wind or fuels from the land, but in manufacturing solar panels, in building the wires and mechanics behind our smart meters, in creating next generation batteries – the list goes on.
Other nations realize that the country that leads the clean energy economy will be the country that leads the 21st century global economy. The President is dedicated to making the United States that country – and is inspired by the small towns across rural America that provide the backbone for this effort. Towns like Macon and Fort Madison can be models around this country, and I’m confident one day we’ll look back to these places as some of the engines of this new clean energy future.
As extraordinary the work that towns like Macon and Fort Madison are doing, these plants can’t solve all our energy challenges alone. But their work is a key part of a comprehensive strategy to move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels to one that relies on homegrown fuels and clean energy. And the President knows we can come together on this issue and pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation that will spur a new generation of clean energy industries, create good American jobs, and enhance our energy security.
Carol Browner is the Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change.
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President Obama visits Peggy Sue’s Café
President Obama leaves Peggy Sue's Cafe in Monroe City, Mo., with his to-go order of a cheeseburger and fries. (H-W Photo/Phil Carlson)
~What would you do if you were enjoying your lunch and in walks the president of the United States?
Well that’s exactly what happened to diners at Peggy Sue’s Cafe in Monroe City.
President Obama made an unexpected stop for lunch a little after 11 Wednesday morning.
Staff was informed they would have a special guest for lunch several minutes prior to the president’s arrival.
Obama mingled with diners and ordered a cheeseburger and fries to go and even picked up the check for everyone at his table.
“I’m on a natural high, I have never felt like this before, I am so wound-up I thought I was just gonna get up and mow the yard today and I feel like I could conquer the world now. So it’s enthralling, it’s awesome,” said Peggy Sue’s Stepdaughter Kayla Klocke.
“I was late coming in and I came across like she did and it’s like ‘Stop! You can’t go!’ I’m like ‘I work here I need to get in,’ and they searched my purse and searched me and then let me in and they were like ‘he’s coming.’ I was like ‘oh my gosh,’” said Peggy Sue’s Café Waitress Jodie Clarkson.
Both women described the president as down to earth and very nice. They said he discussed farming, the military, insurance, and banking with customers.
“I didn’t really have a good impression of the president beforehand but I mean he’s down to earth, he seems like he’s interested especially in the farming industry and helping people, very appreciative of service members for sure there were some outside too that he went straight to them and shook their hands,” said Klocke.
After President Obama left Peggy Sue’s Cafe he crossed the street to speak to employees at an insurance agency.
Peggy Sue said as soon as the secret service sends her the pictures they took she will put them on the wall for everyone to see.
Quincy Herald Whig~President Barack Obama’s unexpected stop at a Monroe City cafe gave hundreds of people a chance to see him, shake hands, show support or show displeasure.
“He was very personable, very congenial,” said Joyce Anderson, office manager at See Real Estate, 216 Main, where the president also stopped.
Obama spent about an hour in town, posing for photos and listening to comments and sharing his views on health care, agriculture, crop insurance and jobs. Some questions were also directed to the Secretary of Agriculture.
“It was a very nice visit,” Beth Garner said.
She said she got to speak with the president for about 15 minutes, sharing her concerns about how health care reform will affect her and her neighbors.
“He sounded like he knew what he was talking about,” she said. “I told him I hope things work out the way he plans.”
Greg Cooper, co-owner of LaRue Insurance Agency, 216 N. Main, was most impressed by what he felt was a the president’s personal concern for the people’s problems.
After responding to his “how are you doing?” with talk of jobs and cutting costs, the closing of one factory and the local takeover of another, “we’re improving,” Cooper told the president.
“Yes, but how are you doing?” he said the president responded.
Lori Summers, 36, of Monroe City, chanted “Yes we can,” in an effort to attract the president’s attention. It worked, as the president stepped back to shake her hand after heading toward the motorcade.
“This is historic. Monroe City is a little town and this is amazing,” said Summers, an African-American who wore a shirt with the president’s picture on it.
Slideshow photos by Getty, AP and Reuters