In his State of the Union Address Tuesday, President Obama focused on the creation of more clean energy, pledging that by 2035, 80% of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources.
Reaction to the State of the Union is coming from many directions including members of Congress. Senator Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, says the President's goal to look at contradictory or unneeded regulations is welcome, and he intends to give him some common sense ideas to get started.
"American manufacturers, farmers and service industries need new markets for exports. International trade leads to higher paying jobs and new opportunities for workers," Grassley said. "It's time for the administration to match its rhetoric with reality by getting the United States off the sidelines and finalizing valuable trade agreements that have been pending for years."
Chairwoman of the Senate Ag Committee Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., pledged she will continue to work with the President and colleagues on both sides of the aisle to keep focus on jobs, expanding opportunities for small businesses, advanced manufacturing, and agriculture.
Obama called for a spark in the creativity and imagination of our people and National Farmers Union President Roger Johnson noted that American farmers and ranchers are also among our most creative when given a challenge. Johnson says when given a goal for energy security and independence, they have and will continue to provide creative and renewable solutions such as biofuels, wind power and solar energy.
Read Smith, co-chairman of the 25X'25 Alliance national steering committee, says that with the vision of meeting 25% of our nation's total energy needs with renewables from the land, the Alliance believes that America's farms, ranches and forestlands can provide the renewable energy that can help meet the president's ambitious target.
Smith challenges Congress to recognize this opportunity and come together in a bipartisan consensus that can lead to the adoption of a comprehensive, long term national energy policy platform that assures the security and stability of clean energy markets.
The American Soybean Association was pleased that the President touched on several of the group's top legislative priorities during his State of the Union address. ASA President Alan Kemper says President Obama encouraged job creation by doubling exports, passing the pending free trade agreements, expanding the use of renewable energy and improving America's infrastructure.
ASA believes efforts to achieve the goal of creating more U.S. jobs and the doubling exports will require Congressional approval of the pending trade deals with South Korea, Colombia and Panama as well as renewal of Presidential Trade Promotion Authority.
As for the President's comments on improving infrastructure Kemper says ASA supports increased funding for road, rail and waterway improvements that will benefit U.S. soybean farmers. He notes infrastructure helps growers more their product across the U.S. and to ports that ship soybeans and soybean products around the world. Kemper notes over 75% of U.S. soybean exports move via the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River systems and says the locks, dams and channels are crumbling and need modernization.