Thank you very much. (Applause.) Thank you, everybody. Please, please, have a seat. We're all about saving energy here. (Laughter.) Sit down.
Hello, Las Vegas! (Applause.) It's good to be back on the road after spending a little downtime with my family – recharging my own batteries, so to speak. And it is great to join you at this clean energy summit to see the work that you're all doing on what I consider to be one of the most important issues not just of our time, but of any time.
I want to thank Mandalay Bay and MGM's chairman, Jim Murren, for hosting us today. I want to thank my dear friend, your outstanding Senator, Harry Reid, for holding this summit – (applause) – and for keeping us focused on this challenge. I want to thank him, by the way, for his strong statement over the weekend in support of a deal that is going to make sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon, which is a top priority of my administration. (Applause.) And Harry's leadership matters. It sends a message that Congress should support this historic diplomatic breakthrough, and not block it over the objections of most of the world. It reflects the best of American foreign policy. We don't rely on bluster or bravado; we focus on strong, principled diplomacy that prevents Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon – and showing once again to the entire world what American leadership really means.
Now, we're here today because we believe that no challenge poses a greater threat to our future than climate change. It's something that I'd spoken at length about a few weeks ago; it's something that I'll speak about at length next week when I travel throughout Alaska.
But we're also here because we hold another belief, and that is we are deeply optimistic about American ingenuity. We think we can do good and do well at the same time. We believe we have the power, the dynamism, the creativity to solve a big problem while keeping the engines of the American economy moving.
Six and a half years ago, I took office after decades in which our addiction to fossil fuels and foreign oil perennially threatened our planet and our national security. And together, we've begun to change that – a lot of people in this room working with us. Yes, we've become the world's number-one producer of oil and natural gas, but we've also become a major player in clean energy. And these advances have helped to grow our economy and created a steady stream of well-paying jobs. They've also helped us reduce the dangerous emissions that contribute to climate change. And we've done it in three big ways.
First of all, we're wasting less energy. We've set new fuel economy standards on cars and trucks, new efficiency standards on appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers – and these advances are already saving folks money at the pump; it's saving money on their electricity bills. And steps like these also mean that factories and businesses aren't just paying for energy, they're getting paid not to waste energy. The economy as a whole is producing a lot more using less energy. And we're also using less dirty energy.
Earlier this month, I unveiled our Clean Power Plan – the first set of nationwide standards to end the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants, the single most important step America has ever taken to combat climate change. The Clean Power Plan is also going to accelerate the third way that we're cutting emissions, creating jobs, saving folks money – and that's by generating more clean energy.
When I took office, I pledged to double our production of wind and solar by the end of my first term. We met that goal ahead of schedule. (Applause.) As Harry just mentioned, six years ago, the Recovery Act marked the single biggest investment in clean energy in our history. And by the way, what we did was not revolutionary. We did what the federal government has always done – we invested in promising new technologies to spur private sector investment and innovation all across the country.
Today, there are thousands of renewable energy projects employing tens of thousands of Americans all across the country. Right here in Nevada, for example, renewable energy generation has increased 180 percent since I took office. Today, America is number one in wind power, generating three times as much wind energy as we did in 2008. There are now more than 500 wind manufacturers across 43 states supplying the wind industry – an industry that supports more than 50,000 jobs and supplies enough energy to power 16 million homes.
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