Obama Outlines Energy-Efficiency Program

By Elizabeth Williamson in the Wall Street Journal, March 2 2010

SAVANNAH, Ga.—President Barack Obama promoted his "green jobs" agenda Tuesday in a speech designed to show he's committed to work on the economy, despite roadblocks in Congress.

The president made only a single glancing reference to health care in his 16-minute speech at the Savannah Technical College. Instead, he talked up the administration's energy-related jobs proposals, particularly its "Homestar" plan to provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy-saving home upgrades.

Mr. Obama first discussed the home-retrofitting program, informally dubbed "Cash for Caulkers," at the end of last year, and again in his State of the Union address a month ago. But despite new details unveiled Tuesday, the plan is as yet no closer to passage by a fractious Congress.

"To spur hiring and to sustain growth we've placed a big focus on energy," he said, pointing to the administration's approval last week of next steps in development of a nuclear-energy plant in Georgia, which would be the first new nuclear plant to be built in a generation. However, "working stuff through Congress is more than a notion," he said, to laughter.

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