Growing Clean Energy Technology Will Help America's Economy and Clean Energy Potential

Continuing to increase clean diesel technology will help grow America's economy as well as reduce its dependence on foreign oil, key points made during Obama's State of the Union address.

President Obama’s emphasis in his State of the Union address on the expansion of clean energy and economic growth is attainable with the help of the one source that literally drives the U.S. and global economy – clean diesel technology.

America’s Clean Energy Future

“In his State of the Union address, President Obama focused on a few energy sources – some of which are in developmental stages or won’t be functional for many years,” says Allen Schaeffer, the Executive Director of the Diesel Technology Forum. “Whether they prove to be practical and efficient in the U.S. will be seen at some point in the future.

“Fortunately, we have one source of power that is efficient and clean that exists today – clean diesel technology. Diesel technology has an important role to play in America’s clean energy future. Diesel engines are the most energy efficient technology - whether they are using the new ultra-low sulfur diesel fuel, a renewable biodiesel fuel blend, or hybrid diesel-electric technology.

“We welcome President Obama’s call for an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy. Developing natural gas resources, constructing wind farms, and transporting solar panels will all require today’s powerful clean diesel engines. And today’s diesel trucks are as clean as natural gas engines.

“Diesel power must continue to be a major component of our current and future national energy strategy. Along with advancements in efficiency, and ability to use renewable fuels, diesel fuel is particularly well positioned for the future.

America’s Economy Relies on Diesel Technology

“A recent economic study reported that in the U.S., over 80% of all freight is moved by diesel trucks, ships, trains and intermodal systems. Worldwide, 94% of all global trade is powered by diesel engines and equipment. Without diesel power, America and the world’s economy would come to a standstill.

“The diesel industry contributes more than $480 billion annually to the U.S economy and provides more than 1.25 million jobs. Diesel exports are also important to U.S. international trade. Altogether, diesel product and fuel exports represented $46.2 billion or 4.35% of U.S. exports in 2009, with an export-to-value ratio that was five times higher than the national average.

“Diesel is a major economic factor and job creator in the U.S. economy and is vital to America’s economic recovery and growth. Diesel not only provides jobs in the manufacturing and refining industries, it provides equipment and engines to our agricultural, mining and construction industries, and transports virtually every commodity available to American consumers.

America’s Auto Industry Is Back on Its Feet

“The rebirth of the American auto industry has been a major achievement during the economic downturn. As we enter 2012, the auto industry’s growth will be increased, in part, due to the production of new diesel cars and trucks. This new interest in clean diesel autos has already resulted in the announcement of new factories and thousands of new jobs throughout the U.S. being created by both domestic and international automobile and truck manufacturers.

Public Investments in Energy Technology Has Improved Diesel Engines & the Environment

“President Obama’s pledge to continue federal investments in clean energy should also include the successful diesel technology programs. Unlike some other energy technology initiatives, investments at the Department of Energy in vehicle technology like the 21st Century and SuperTruck Programs, and the advanced combustion efficiency projects, are delivering real-world value today in the form of reduced fuel consumption and lower emissions in the nation’s commercial trucking fleet.

“The bipartisan Diesel Emissions Reduction Act has allowed communities in all 50 states to upgrade older diesel school and transit buses, commercial trucks, locomotives and other equipment with modern and cleaner diesel engines and air filters. The EPA has determined DERA investments have resulted in $13 worth of health and environmental benefits for every $1 spent. We urge President Obama to restore funding for the DERA program.

Repairing and Rebuilding America’s Infrastructure

“The new generation of clean diesel engines in off-road construction equipment is ready to rebuild America’s Infrastructure. New excavators, bulldozers, and wheel loaders are now near zero-emissions with greater productivity, efficiency and fuel savings for operators.

“Diesel engines were the power behind building America’s iconic infrastructure like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Hoover Dam. Now, diesel engines will build the next generation of roads, bridges, broadband access and more advanced energy grids.”

Notable Quotes From Obama Administration Officials

“The diesel industry has succeeded in innovative efforts to improve fuel efficiency and dramatically reduce emissions. This continued commitment and progress is helping companies and communities save money and reduce pollution, and propelling the clean energy jobs and industries that will power our economy in the 21st century."

- Nancy Sutley, Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality (November 3, 2011)

“If one-third of all United States vehicles used this kind of fuel-efficient clean diesel, we would save 1.4 million barrels of oil a day. That’s the same amount of oil we import from Saudi Arabia, so this is a big deal.”

-Ray LaHood, Secretary of the Department of Transportation (May 31, 2011)

"If you told me in the mid-1990s that we could put the words 'clean' and 'diesel' together I would say you are completely out of your mind. Yet here we are today to celebrate 10 years of clean diesel effort."

- Margo Oge, Director of the EPA Office of Transportation and Air Quality (October 20, 2010)