The President called on Congress to pass comprehensive energy and climate change legislation to reduce U.S. oil imports and fight global warming.
In an event celebrating Earth Day, President Barack Obama traveled to Newton, Iowa for a tour of a former Maytag plant which has been reconfigured to produce wind energy equipment.
The visit symbolized the "green jobs" that the Obama administration is pushing as part of America's energy future.
SOUNDBITE: U.S. President Barack Obama saying (English):
"The choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our economy - it's a choice between prosperity and decline.
Meanwhile, back in Washington a number of key Obama administration officials called on Congress to pass comprehensive energy and climate change legislation to reduce U.S. oil imports and fight global warming.
The bill seeks to lower carbon dioxide emissions to 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and more than 80 percent by 2050.
But with the economy in recession, passing a bill that opponents say will raise energy prices for consumers and businesses will be very difficult.
Lee Terry is a Republican Congressman from Nebraska.
SOUNDBITE: Lee Terry, Republican Congressman from Nebraska, saying (English):
"There's no Republican support - at least in our committee- for this current version and we're gonna continue to worth with Waxman and Markey to see if we can make it more palatable..if we can actually lower CO-2 emissions without running our economy off the cliff."
In Iowa, the President acknowledged that reducing America's dependence on oil and significantly reducing greenhouse gases won't be easy, but if it's successful, he argued, it could create millions of clean energy jobs.
Patrick Michaels, a senior fellow at the libertarian CATO Institute, questioned whether the President's policies may be counterproductive.
SOUNDBITE: Patrick Michaels, senior fellow, CATO Institute, saying (English):
"The president himself said it would make the price of electricity skyrocket. If you make the price of electricity skyrocket, that means you make if more expensive for business to do business and households to run their households. So how in the world do you create jobs in that environment."
While the anticipated fight over climate change legislation heats up in Washington, President Obama is promising to lead the way on renewable energy and step up international talks to fight climate change globally.
Jon Decker, Reuters.
The day's top showbiz news and headlines including Beyonce and Lady Gaga...
A man killed three women after walking into a suburban Pittsburgh gym in...
Video and still photographs of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin riding...
A teenage girl is suing a Belgium tattoo artist after she allegedly asked...
The first eight bodies of Air France crash victims arrive in Brazil for...