July 15th, 2010
04:16 PM ET
13 years ago

Obama touts new battery plant as sign of recovery


President Obama sits in an electric Ford Focus alongside Holland, Michigan, Mayor Kurt Dykstra. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

Holland, Michigan (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Thursday touted the clean energy technology of a new plant that will make electric car batteries as an example of economic growth created by his administration's policies.

At the groundbreaking for the Compact Power plant in Holland, Michigan, Obama said the country is on the path to recovery from the economic recession that wiped out 8 million jobs.

However, he acknowledged the slow pace of the recovery and said the goal of his policies was never to "create a government program, but rather to unleash private-sector growth."

Obama noted that advances in the manufacture of batteries for electric cars are expected to lower their costs by nearly 70 percent in the next few years.

The lower cost "will make electric and hybrid cars and trucks more affordable for more Americans," Obama said. "And that not only means more jobs, but also that we'll be less dependent on oil."

Previewing the Democratic message for the November mid-term congressional election, Obama said it is "absolutely clear" the nation's economy is headed in the right direction, and that "the surest way out of the storms we've been in is to keep moving forward, not to go backward."

"There are some folks who want to go back - who think we should return to the policies that led to the recession," Obama said of Republican critics, accusing them of choosing political obstruction over working with Democrats for solutions.

At a Republican news conference Thursday, GOP senators called for an end to policies that they said hinder job creation.

"It is time this administration and its Capitol Hill ally stop this job-killing agenda," said Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah.

Obama is simply "out of touch with the American people and out of touch with the economic realities of our country in the summer of 2010," added Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyoming.

The president, however, reiterated his long-standing assertion that things would have been worse without the economic stimulus bill and other job creation efforts.

New projects like the Michigan plant are helping the United States compete with other nations for a foothold in the clean energy industry of the future, Obama said.

He challenged his GOP critics to ask workers filling the new jobs if they would have preferred for the batteries they will be building to instead be manufactured overseas.

Stimulus bill money helped Compact Power build the new battery plant, Obama said, bringing hundreds of jobs to economically hard-hit Michigan.

"It will be a boost to the economy of the entire region," he said.

Filed under: Energy • President Obama
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Reggie

    Grasping at straws.

    July 15, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  2. Augsbee

    To Nam Vet-for real: please enlighten us, how exactly is America coming back, share your details, mathematics with the rest of us.

    July 15, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  3. Turnabout is Fair Play

    awaitingliberalizationbyCNN July 15th, 2010 4:28 pm ET

    So how much are we paying for Obozo to tout this already outdated technology? Owned by Koreans, because Americans are having their money stolen by this inept, corrupt, incompetent, union toady administration. Did anyone see the poll that says that Romney and Gingrich would beat Hussein if the election were held today and Palin would tie him? They are not even campaigning yet and this fraud has never stopped. He is going down in 2012.

    Hey idiot, with the brainless hate you have for a black president, you are obviously Hannity from Fux Noise in disguise, nice try moronic tool. And calling PRESIDENT Obama "Hussein" is supposed to be a slight against him? Well guess what, he is still YOUR president and therefore your MASTER and you are his b!tch! He WILL be re-elected in 2012 and there is nothing you can do to stop it!

    July 15, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  4. Eric31m


    Nice one!

    July 15, 2010 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  5. Charlie in Maine

    What I love most about these photos is that George W Bush does nort appear in them. All of you yahoos out there who trash Obama must really be upset that he is doig his job so much better than your guy did.

    I feel your pain......but it could be worse: What if John McCain had won the election only to have the Supreme Court hand it to Obama. Man that would suck even more for you wouldn't it? Believe me, it would.

    July 15, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  6. Augsbee

    To KM-enlighten me, how many Americans do you really think will be approved by banks to purchase a new Electric/Hybrid vehicle????? How many of those that do have good credit, get approved can afford that car payment when their job is on the rocks????? How many businesses do you think will spend money on new trucks, vehicles when tax changes are coming, tax breaks are going away, health care changes are coming???? give my your mathematics I'll be happy to audit them.

    July 15, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  7. Charlie in Maine

    BTW the economy is recovering whether y'all like it or not.

    July 15, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  8. Idiots In High Places

    Oh wow, a few jobs building bateries for obamabiles. why waste batteries, just install a big rubber band, or better yet, use the fred flintstone method. I can see the outcome when a 18 wheeler bumps one of these rolling flashlights. Or are they going to outlaw 18 wheelers as well?

    July 15, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. bubba

    a battery plant............sure sure..........the economy is hitting on all 1 cylinder................

    July 15, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  10. ex-repulican since McCain picked Palin

    YEA TURNABOUT! you are my hero, loved it.

    July 15, 2010 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  11. bubba

    hey augsbee.........the mathematics in washington.............all smoke and mirrors.............

    July 15, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. Donkey Party

    Love the idiot rantings from the right-wing America haters. Especially the one from "seebofubar". Hey dummy, it's spelled "intelligence"!!! You uneducated morons need to pick up a book, and turn off Fox Nonsense.

    July 15, 2010 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  13. Marx

    How do a few jobs in a battery plant make up for the tens of thousands of jobs this idiot is killing forever with the ignorant moritorium on offshore drilling? or is that his subversive plan all along?

    July 15, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Donkey Party

    To "Idiots in High Places" – it's obvious you have one of the higher perches.

    July 15, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  15. norma

    Augsbee couldn't "audit" my first grader's math homework!

    How about 6 months of private sector job growth. Over 2 million jobs created by the stimulus. And 0 gallons of gas need to drive that electric vehicle in the awesome picture above.

    AND no one is going to give you money to buy a car! Aren't you a member of the party that tells everyone to pull themselves up by their bootstraps! FYI – I'm a fairly average middle class person, and I was just approved for a Prius with 0.9%financing! I think I'll wait until I can buy an American made hybrid or electric car with a style I like, though.

    July 15, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. bubba

    charlie in maine.........the economy is not going to be in full recovery for another 5 years. too much weakness still floating around in this country, too much bad stuff coming down the pike (tax increase, energy legislation) and too much weakness in other countries around the world.

    bottom line......it s going to be a rough rid until 2015

    July 15, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  17. al in memphis

    For those people who work at this factory, they will enjoy the satisfaction of going home knowing they are contributing something to the growth of this country. Obviously, it not any of you slamin this president for pressin on in both a big and small way toward progress.
    It okay to criticize Obama, but get realistic and make it something that will challenge our thinking– not just remind us of your hate.

    July 15, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  18. Augsbee

    Hey Donkey Party – you're always insulting everyone, like that's going to accomplish anything – give us details, financial figures

    July 15, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Oregon Calling

    GI Joe – Nice!

    July 15, 2010 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Eze

    Just the facts!

    Plant in Mich is owned by the Koreans! Good use of our tax dollars.

    July 15, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  21. Steph

    I LOVE THE PICTURE so much better than W in an orange jump suit standing proudly under the mission accomplished sign.

    This IS change we can believe in!

    July 15, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  22. Praetorian

    At least Obama didn't nearly blow the car, himself, and everything around him to smithereens like Dubya nearly did a few years back when he tried to plug a live electric cord into the hydrogen port of another experimental car. I believe that it took the swift intervention of an automotive bigshot to keep him from doing it! Yes, sadly it's really true.

    July 15, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  23. Augsbee

    Hey Norma, I read the same in Newsvine. Now let's go back to real numbers not counting those temporary Census jobs. Got anything for me. Tell me more about the 0 gallons, I'm curious. Leave first graders out of this, these days they can't read, write or do math.

    July 15, 2010 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. Shibumi

    Ask Spain how going "green" helped their economy. Hint: It killed it. Which is why they dumped the "green" and are now drilling for oil like bandits, financed by $2 billion in US loans. Hopey Changey! Hopey Changey! Even ACORN can't save the democrat bloodbath coming in November.

    July 15, 2010 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  25. Rick McDaniel

    I hear the battery plant is owned by LG......a CHINESE company.

    July 15, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
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