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US president urges investment in clean, renewable energy
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US President Barack Obama on Tuesday urged investment in clean and renewable energy, saying it will help America lead the world in the 21st century.

In his first address to a joint session of Congress, the US president said "to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy."

He said his budget proposal to be released on Thursday will invest 15 billion US dollars a year on wind and solar power, advanced biofuels, clean coal and American-built cars and trucks that are more fuel efficient.

"We know the country that harnesses the power of clean, renewable energy will lead the 21st century," said Obama. However, he said while the United States invented solar technology, America has fallen behind Germany and Japan in producing it.

While new plug-in hybrid vehicles roll off US assembly lines, Obama said they must run on advanced batteries made in South Korea. "It is time for America to lead again."

To address those shortcomings, he reiterated his goal to double US renewable energy production over the next three years and touted the billions of dollars his administration will invest in energy research. However, Obama said clean and renewable energy must be made profitable.

"We will soon lay down thousands of miles of power lines that can carry new energy to cities and towns across this country. And we will put Americans to work making our homes and buildings more efficient so that we can save billions of dollars on our energy bills," Obama said.

He also called on the Congress to send him legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution.

(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2009)

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