“Feedback Friday” Letter to White House generated form letter response June 18 2012 on green technologies (part 15)

I have been writing President Obama letters and have not received a personal response yet.  (He reads 10 letters a day personally and responds to each of them.) However, I did receive a form letter in the form of an email on June 18, 2012. I don’t know which letter of mine generated this response so I have linked several of the letters I sent to him below with the email that I received. However, I think it was probably this one below:

Sen. Toomey responds to State of the Union address 2012

Leader Cantor On CNN Responding To President Obama’s State of the Union Address

President Obama c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

Here is an excellent piece from the Heritage Foundation with a reaction to the president’s proposed budget:

Obama’s Energy Budget: The Antithesis of a Market-Driven Energy Economy – Nicolas Loris

If only entrepreneurs had President Obama’s vision of what technologies are going to be successful and profitable in the future. Sadly, the President’s vision seems to suggest that America’s innovators lack the ingenuity and expertise to meet our country’s needs, leaving the taxpayer to pick up the dropped ball. In a nutshell, that’s President Obama’s fiscal year 2013 Department of Energy (DOE) budget. It completely rejects the notion of a market-based energy industry and wastes taxpayer dollars at a time when we desperately need to curtail out-of-control spending. Whether it’s renewable energy, energy efficiency, nuclear, or fossil fuels, the President’s blueprint is all wrong. Not the Government’s Role to Make Energy Technologies Cost Competitive Each year, the President’s budget has moved further away from basic research and more into commercializing politically preferred technologies.

For instance, the 2013 budget proposes to spend $310 million on the SunShot Initiative, a program to make solar energy cost-competitive without subsidies by 2020. The oxymoronic part of this proposal is that the program itself is a $310 million subsidy. And it’s a perfect example of the President’s attempt to hand over America’s energy economy to the DOE. This is an attempt that’s been tried and failed. And it’s not just solar getting a handout—there’s money for wind, geothermal, biofuels, advanced vehicles, energy efficiency, nuclear energy, and even natural gas. Government has no business trying to make private-sector projects cost-competitive. It’s neither appropriate nor necessary. There’s a robust demand for energy domestically and globally that is met with a wide variety of energy sources. According to analysis by HSBC Holdings PLC, the global market for low-carbon energy and energy efficiency will reach $2.2 trillion in the next decade. That’s all the incentive solar needs. If a technology or a company cannot capture part of that market, it doesn’t deserve to be in business, and it certainly needs no help from the taxpayer. Consumers and Businesses Know How to Save Money Energy efficiency spending programs and legislation have largely enjoyed bipartisan support because the practices of being resourceful and saving money are inherently desired. But it’s because they’re inherently good things that we don’t need government mandates, rebate programs, or spending initiatives to make businesses and homeowners more energy efficient. The President’s overview highlights that “the Budget provides DOE with $290 million to expand R&D on innovative manufacturing processes and advanced industrial materials that will enable U.S. companies to cut the costs of manufacturing by using less energy, while improving product quality and accelerating product development.”

Businesses do not need taxpayer dollars to improve efficiency and cut costs; they make those investments all the time with their own money. Nestle’s newest water bottle uses 60 percent less plastic than the one they first introduced in mid-1990s. Businesses make these investments every day to be more competitive and pass the savings onto consumers to capture a larger market share. Energy efficiency programs take an overly simplistic view of how our economy works and fail to take into account the tradeoffs energy consumers and businesses consider when making decisions. Subsidize One Fossil Fuel, Punish Another? In his State of Union speech, President Obama claimed that our country’s natural gas boom came largely as a result of public funding. While nothing could be further from the truth, the President wants to unnecessarily dump money into an already-booming industry. The budget proposal includes $421 million in fossil energy research and development, including $12 million “aimed at advancing technology and methods to safely and responsibly develop America’s natural gas resources.” Much of the $421 million is subsidies for the fossil fuel industry for research and spending that can be done by the private sector. Most of this funding focuses on technologies that will reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The program includes a clean coal power initiative, research on fuels and power systems to reduce fossil power plant emissions, innovations for existing plants, integrated gasification combined cycle, advanced turbines, carbon sequestration, and natural gas technologies. All of these programs need to go. The Administration proposed a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies, significantly cutting funding for the Office of Fossil Energy. But the Administration is doing so less because it is good economic policy (which it is) and more to promote an environmental policy of Administration-preferred clean energy sources. When the Administration does talk about eliminating fossil fuel subsidies, they’re not actually removing subsidies but imposing targeted tax hikes on the oil industry by removing broadly available tax deductions. The President’s anti-subsidy rhetoric is on track, but actually defining what’s a subsidy is a different story.

Unsurprisingly, President Obama’s budget proposal for energy is largely a carbon copy of last year’s, with an even stronger government push for renewable energy and energy efficiency programs. It hands DOE unprecedented control over America’s energy economy, which has successfully been driven by the private sector. The DOE budget proposal doesn’t need a scalpel taken to it; it needs a hatchet.


I believe in the free market and basically if an industry is successful then it will grow and if it is not then it will disappear. It is no place for the federal government to try and re-arrange everything.

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your committment as a father and a husband.


Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com


The White House, Washington


June 18, 2012

Dear Everette:

Thank you for writing.  Each day, I hear from concerned men and women who are struggling in this economy.  Their stories encourage me to continue working to ensure all Americans can find good jobs so they can support their families and communities. 

This is a make-or-break moment for the middle class and those trying to reach it.  At stake is the survival of the American promise that if you work hard, you can do well enough to raise a family, own a home, and put enough away for retirement.  The defining issue of our time is how to keep that promise alive, and I will not stop working to build an economy that works for everyone—where every hard-working American gets a fair shot, does their fair share, and plays by the same rules.  To see my full blueprint for an America built to last, with an economy based on American manufacturing, energy, workers, and values, I encourage you to visit www.WhiteHouse.gov/economy.

Our economy is growing stronger, adding over 2 million private sector jobs in 2011 alone—the best job growth since 2005.  Yet, there are still far too many Americans who need jobs.  We need to bring about a new era of American manufacturing and make it easier for our companies to create jobs here at home and sell products stamped with “Made in America” all over the world.  To turn this vision into a reality, we hosted the “Insourcing American Jobs” forum in January 2012 to bring together business leaders from across our country to discuss one topic:  how to encourage companies to bring jobs back to and invest in the United States.  To help them do so, I have put forward new tax proposals that reward companies that choose to bring jobs home and invest in America while eliminating tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas.   

I also set a goal of doubling our exports of goods and services by 2014, which will create new manufacturing jobs.  We are on track to meet that goal.  I was proud to sign trade agreements with South Korea, Colombia, and Panama so our businesses can sell more goods to those markets.  I will go anywhere in the world to open up new markets for American products, and I will not stand by when foreign competitors refuse to play by the same rules as the United States.  That is why I directed my Administration to create a Trade Enforcement Unit responsible for investigating unfair trade practices in other countries.

We also need to reach for a new era in American energy, with an economy fueled by homegrown and alternative energy sources designed and produced by American workers.  American oil production is now at its highest level in 8 years, and in 2011 we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past 16 years.  We have more working oil and gas rigs than the rest of the world combined, and we have opened up millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration where appropriate and safe.  We implemented new safety standards and have since approved hundreds of new drilling permits.  My Administration has also approved dozens of new pipelines to move oil around, including from Canada, which will help create jobs and encourage more energy production.  We are taking every possible action to safely develop a massive, newly accessible supply of natural gas in the United States that will last nearly 100 years and, according to outside experts, will support more than 600,000 jobs by the end of the decade.  As we work to create clean, renewable energy jobs, we are ensuring our all-of-the-above energy strategy does not put the health and safety of Americans at risk.

An economy built to last also demands that we cultivate the skills of our students and workers so they remain the best in the world.  Employers today are looking for the most skilled, educated workers, and we have a responsibility to provide our workforce with the tools they need to prepare for the jobs of today and compete for the jobs of tomorrow.  We made a national commitment to train 2 million workers for good-paying jobs in high-growth and high-demand industries, and my Administration is helping community colleges redesign training programs to become community career centers.  With the extension of the payroll tax cut, we also made sure no working American will see their taxes go up this year and the millions of Americans still looking for work will be able to get help with unemployment insurance. 

With too many Americans still struggling to stay in their homes, access to the American dream continues to be tested by a mortgage crisis that threatens the stability of families, neighborhoods, and our entire economy.  While many Americans have received help, far too many are still unable to refinance their mortgages or obtain loan modifications.  This crisis has not only hurt home values nationwide, it has also had a dramatic effect on the credit Americans need to purchase cars, pay college tuition, and grow small businesses. 

That is why I will not wait for Congress to act to help homeowners.  The Home Affordable Refinance Program has already helped nearly 1 million homeowners improve their financial situations, but until now, eligibility regulations and costs associated with the program have kept it from having a wider impact.  Now, a new set of rules will open the program to nearly anyone with a mortgage backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.  For assistance with a foreclosure or to find a local housing counselor, I encourage you to call your mortgage servicer directly, speak with a housing specialist at 1-888-995-HOPE, or contact the Department of Housing and Urban Development at 1-800-569-4287.  You can also visit
www.HUD.gov/foreclosure and www.MakingHomeAffordable.gov.

Our Nation is recovering from one of the worst economic crises in generations, and we still have a long way to go before every American who wants a job can find one, before every family can regain the sense of security that has been slipping away, and before our communities can get fully back on their feet.  From passing the Recovery Act to saving the American auto industry, my Administration has laid a strong foundation for growth, and we continue to take bold action to do what is right for our economy.  Today, the tide is finally turning.  Businesses have created millions of new jobs, more companies are bringing jobs back and investing in America, manufacturers are hiring, and our economy is growing stronger.  While it will take time to fully repair the damage, I am confident our Nation will not only recover, but also prosper in the 21st century.  For more information on jobs, health benefits, housing assistance, and other public resources, you may also call 1-800-FEDINFO or visit www.USA.gov

Thank you, again, for writing.


Barack Obama

Visit WhiteHouse.gov



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