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Can Obama's clean energy plan save the climate?

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(Read caption) Wind turbines generate electricity at a 400-megawatt facility in Peetz, Colo.

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In a major economic speech Thursday at George Mason University, President-elect Barack Obama called for doubling domestic production of alternative energy over the next three years.

As Monitor reporter Peter Grier notes, Mr. Obama's American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan – a stimulus package expected to total at least $800 billion – will put energy front and center. The plan includes boosting the efficiency of homes and government buildings and kick-starting domestic clean energy. To quote from Obama's speech:

To finally spark the creation of a clean energy economy, we will double the production of alternative energy in the next three years.  We will modernize more than 75 percent of federal buildings and improve the energy efficiency of 2 million American homes, saving consumers and taxpayers billions on our energy bills.  In the process, we will put Americans to work in new jobs that pay well and can’t be outsourced – jobs building solar panels and wind turbines; constructing fuel-efficient cars and buildings; and developing the new energy technologies that will lead to even more jobs, more savings, and a cleaner, safer planet in the bargain.

Obama also pledged to develop a national smart energy grid that would "save us money, protect our power sources from blackout or attack, and deliver clean, alternative forms of energy to every corner of our nation."

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