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President Obama Addresses Solar Energy, Jobs Inside Mountain View Walmart

President commended the store for its solar panels. Protesters of Walmart's wages rallied outside.

President Obama at Mountain View Walmart. Credit BCN.
President Obama at Mountain View Walmart. Credit BCN.
UPDATED: Friday, May 9, 11:48 a.m.

President Barack Obama visited aWalmart in Mountain View this morning, where he spoke about creating jobs, promoting energy efficiency and using solar energy at businesses. 

His speech at the store, located at 600 Showers Drive, is part of a quick Democratic fundraising trip to the Bay Area after arriving Thursday afternoon.

He spoke this morning in front of a crowd of about 200seated inside the store near racks of ladies' blouses and shelves of solar-powered yard lights. 

He shared commitments from more than 300 private and public sector organizations to create jobs and cut carbon pollution and announced an executive action to add $2 billion in upgrades to federal buildings to make them more energy efficient, which he said would create tens of thousands of construction jobs.
  
He said some of the companies committed to energy efficiency include Home Depot, Apple and General Motors, and cities such as Little Rock, Arkansas, and Detroit. 

He said the country "needs to adapt our economy to the reality of climate change." 

The president said he supported using solar energy, reducing the amount of energy consumed throughout the country, cutting down energy costs and creating jobs. 

The crowd included about 25 Walmart employees dressed in the company uniform of blue shirts and khaki pants. 

Obama hailed this particular Walmart location for adding solar panels on the store roof and making other energy efficient decisions such as using LED lights. He praised Walmart for making 850 million square feet of space across the country more energy efficient. 

Obama said the company is taking steps to save $1 billion a year by doubling its solar energy projects at its U.S. stores and distribution centers by 2020. 

"I know this looks like a typical Walmart, but that's why I'm here," Obama said.

He said his administration is committed to building the solar workforce, helping businesses finance solar energy options and investing in more solar projects in the coming year. 

"We are blessed when it comes to energy. If we do our part we will create new jobs and leave our children with a better future and a better America," the president said. 

"Climate change is real and we have to act now. We can't afford to wait," he said. 

The cost to install solar panels is down 60 percent, according to the president. 

He said every four minutes a new home or business goes solar, which is "cheaper and easier to use than ever before." 

The presidential visit drew protesters outside the store, including a local coalition demanding a higher minimum wage that would affect workers at the Mountain View Walmart and other businesses. 

The Mountain View-based coalition rallied near the store this morning asking for the president's support of citywide minimum wage campaigns and drew attention to similar wage increases proposed at other Bay Area and Northern California cities. 

A labor group, which included Walmart workers and union employees, also rallied outside in the parking lot to address income inequality, which the South Bay Labor Council claims affects Walmart workers. 

The labor activists called on Obama to sway Walmart executives to reevaluate its wage and working conditions and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The group decried Obama's praise of Walmart for using solar panels while its employees struggle to make a living wage. 

The president is scheduled to return to Washington, D.C., later this morning. 

This trip, part of a California fundraising tour, included two Thursday evening Democratic National Committee Fundraisers. 

The first was a roundtable discussion at the Los Altos home of 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki followed by a fundraiser at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose. 

--Bay City News
Ivy Rangee May 10, 2014 at 04:45 PM
Yes that is true, but it is also true that by December 2008 the economy had completely tanked under the watchful eye of the Bush administration. The demand for gas was lower because of the depressed world economy which is a Capitalist system and subject to the laws of supply and demand. When demand for a product is low prices go down; when demand is high prices rise. Here are more facts about gas prices in 2008: On Aug 18, 2008 the price of gas was $3.71 per gallon by September 29, 2008 it hovered at $3.64; gas prices fell as the economy crashed, dropping to $3.11 by Oct 13, $2.34 by Nov. 3, and $1.79 by December 1, 2008. It reached bottom at $1.59 on December 29, 2008. However, as the economy rebounded gas prices rose; by Feb. 2, 2009 the price of gas per gallon had risen to $1.87 and by March 30 it was $2.03. The price of gas in December 2008 was an outlier, because from Dec. 31, 2007 to Oct. 13, 2008 gas cost more than $2.95 per gallon, peaking at a price of $4.05 on July 14, 2008. Context is everything. I would add that remarks like "he [President Obama] hates gas which is why it has been 100% plus higher under him and has NEVER come down!" are easy to disprove and frankly beg the question. Also, many Americans are in favor of solar power, believing it is in the best interest of the United States. We are pleased to see public buildings making use of solar panels. By the way, solar power reduces usage of the electric grid, lowering energy costs so that solar panels eventually pay themselves.
Riley Willerson May 11, 2014 at 11:04 AM
Now that is a very good matter of fact response, very tactful as well. Very well written.
c5 May 11, 2014 at 11:58 AM
Agree, nice to see some facts in responses instead of emotion. There are issues with renewable energy however, and these are problems becoming increasingly cumbersome to deal with. What I believe we need is a balance between keeping the lights on currently, which means using fossil fuels wisely, and development/deployment of renewable energy, which is much more expensive and creates some downstream issues that also need to be addressed.
Kerry Jacobs May 16, 2014 at 10:27 AM
I LMAO how it only took 3 lines into Ivy's theory to Blame it on Bush. No matter how many scandles this President throws at us, ie solar failures, IRS targeting, Benghazi, The health care lies, just to mention a few, The bootlicking Obama liberals will dig their head into the sand as far as they have to under any circumstances to protect their hero. Getting rid of biggest food stamp President ever is whats good for America !

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