July 15th, 2010
04:16 PM ET
11 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. tom

    obama would take credit for Al Gore losing weight.

    July 15, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  2. Augsbee

    How many people will be approved by banks for the purchase of a Hybrid or Electric car & truck?????? can Obama get the banks to approve everyone for a new vehicle, truck???? because this batteries are for electric/hybrid vehicles.

    July 15, 2010 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  3. Michael

    This is the kind of progress that Big Oil has successfully crushed for decades.
    It is also the kind of change for which we Americans hired President Obama. Well done!

    July 15, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  4. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    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.

    July 15, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  5. Susan

    I feel like I am living in the twilight zone! Does this man ever tell the truth?

    July 15, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  6. g

    would rather see ethonol or more natural gas, electric cars have to be plugged in after a few miles the price of electricity will go way up what will they do with old batterys

    July 15, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Liz the First

    The economy is recovering, granted, slowly, but recovering nonetheless, under the steady hand of President Obama. all the haters who post on this site need to go to Faux News if they want to continue hearing crap about our president. they can't handle the reality reported here. and folks need to realize that just because they or their friend may not have a job yet it doesn't mean nobody's getting work. with all the problems Obama INHERITED FROM THE LAST 'PRESIDENT,' and all the opposition he has to everything he tries to do for the American people, it's a miracle he's managed to accomplish all he has done, including taking care of our servicemen and women with PTSD, something the 'support our troops' rethuglican'ts didn't do! I'm so proud of this president and i hope the American people aren't stupid enough to hand the congress over to the do-nothing rethugs and stop all the progress that's being made. don't hand the country back to the arsonists, let the fireman keep his hoses and ladders so he can put the fire out.

    July 15, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  8. Andrew

    Love this photo.

    July 15, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    If Dick Cheney can be battery-operated during the day and plugged into the wall at night, why not our cars?

    July 15, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  10. ib

    this is what Obama thinks is recovery???? No wonder this country is going down the tubes under Mr. President

    July 15, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  11. seebofubar

    Obama is such an idiot it makes my head spin. How in the world did this bafoon get elected? It doesn't say much for the average intelegence of a liberal that's for sure.

    July 15, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  12. Terry - Indiana

    Good for Michigan, and good for those who see jobs returning to Michigan. If we want to create jobs here in America, we need to tax all corporations that have shipped jobs overseas. A fair tax would be $1,000 per job transferred / per month. Companies, such as banks, credit card, computer, auto, and others would be given a tax credit when jobs are returned to the United States. I will never buy another Dell Computer because technical support is in India.

    July 15, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  13. bobster

    This is some of the best news, read the article about the engineers who developed this technology at mit. oil companies meet your match!

    July 15, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  14. GI Joe

    We'll build nuclear plants to generate the cleaner cheaper electricity and once more cars are sold, the price will come down.

    GROW UP AMERICANS. AT LEAST WE'RE NOT SUPER-DUPER-SCOOPING HORSE POOP - we've made it this far, we can make it farther.

    We CAN and we WILL – we're innovative and hard-working.

    July 15, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. NAM VET

    This is great! Obama will get a free battery for his golf cart. The tax payer will pay dearly for his pleasure.

    July 15, 2010 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  16. Bob

    Obama said the goal of his policies was never to "create a government program..."

    Really? Then we must have imagined the government program taking over health care, itself 1/7 of the economy, not to mention hundreds of 'government program' takeovers of entire private companies like GM...

    July 15, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  17. Augsbee

    Guys, how many of us can go out and purchase one of these new cars, trucks????? so what if Dick Cheney can be plugged into the wall at night, the question still remains who will give us all money for these new cars, trucks????? not everyone lives in rural areas where we can ride a bike to work or run errands.

    July 15, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  18. NAM VET -for real

    Thank you, Mr. President.
    Keep fighting against your detractors. America is coming back.

    July 15, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  19. New Age Independant

    Unfortunately, the plant was subsidized with our tax dollars. Simply throwing money away to a South Korean business will not solve our economic problems. This plant will not benefit the people that are hurting in the economy with the exception of the small number of jobs that will be created. While any job creation is welcome, we need sustainable businesses, not the band-aid political moves from Washington.

    Obama is completely out of touch and has an obvious lack of basic math skills.

    July 15, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  20. Darkus

    Obama is a great president. He has pushed through the muddle to concentrate on a progressive future-forward agenda. It is painful now, but we can't keep on making 20th century technology and except our environment to improve and our economy to grow. Better that we are taking the beating now and setting the roots, then waiting a decade or two when it is painfully obvious what we need to do and thrice as hard.

    July 15, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  21. Julie

    How come now the GOP is worried about the economy. Where were they when Bush borrowed billions from other countries increasing our deficit to an astronomical amount?
    Obama inherited this....is everything he does a good idea...no but at least he is doing something we cannot really say that about Bush.
    This is a huge undertaking and will take years to recover. Americans have to realize it took years to make this problem and it will take years to correct it.

    July 15, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  22. Dean

    Liz the First--- problems Obama INHERITED FROM THE LAST 'PRESIDENT---------–
    Please google Slass-Steagall Act repeal and learn what Clinton handed Obama . That and the demo thought that everyone should own a house that they can't pay for.

    July 15, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  23. ex-repulican since McCain picked Palin

    Obozo! How infantile and stupid that sounds. Get over it, the President is doing good, although slowly, the economy is getting better. You haters want to see him fail so badly you do not realize his downfall is our downfall. You do not check the facts, but parrot what Fox news spews. THEY LIE, big time.

    July 15, 2010 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  24. Not Surprising

    Wow. Haters are out in force.

    People saying the country is 'going down the tubes,' where do you get this?

    Jobless claims are at their lowest in two years. The stock market has been making headway. We had a breakthrough in wall street reform. There are more border patrol agents and deportations than the previous administration. Just a few.

    The economy is recovering- these things do not happen with a wave of the hand.

    Awaiting liberalization: I'd like to know where you got those poll numbers. In a recent poll by Time, Obama trounced Palin by double digits.

    Bob- if you want to talk about the subject at hand, it would help put things in context. This article had absolutely nothing to do about health insurance.

    You people are amazing.

    July 15, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  25. KM

    "Augsbee", why are you blaming the President for your imperfections? If the banks are not willing to lend you money, maybe they could be correct in that your debt to income ratio is not what it should be when trying to determine is you will be able to repay.

    Yes I blame to banks for helping us to get in this mess but I also blame the consumers for biting off more than they can chew just because someone said they would lend you money. People can't afford a $250,000 house and a $$35,000 vehicle making $35,000 per year as their annual household income.

    Mr. President, keep pushing for alternatives and one day we'll all benefit from it.

    July 15, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
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