Monday, January 31, 2011

Governor Quinn Announces First Round of Appointments

Six Appointees to Help Lead Administration’s Continued Efforts to Reform State Government, Address Fiscal Challenges

CHICAGO – January 31, 2011. Governor Pat Quinn today made six appointments to his executive cabinet. Today’s actions begin a series of appointments Governor Quinn will make over the first quarter of 2011 as he continues fulfilling his commitment to creating jobs, recovering our economy and making state government more efficient and accountable to the people of Illinois.

Today Governor Quinn re-appointed Director Rocco Claps to the Department of Human Rights, Director Brian Hamer to the Department of Revenue, Director Julie Hamos to the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Secretary Gary Hannig to the Department of Transportation, Director Erwin McEwen to the Department of Children and Family Services and Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler to the Department of Human Services.

“I am proud to appoint these trusted members of my cabinet to continue their dedicated service to the people of Illinois,” said Governor Quinn. “Over the course of my administration they have shown themselves to be unparalleled stewards of the public trust, and I look forward to their continued service.”

As Director of the Department of Human Rights, Rocco Claps has led efforts to establish civil unions, prevent sexual harassment on college campuses, reduce bullying in schools and increase gang prevention. Prior to his appointment to head the department, Claps served as deputy assessor for Cook County and held a number of positions within the administration of President Bill Clinton. He previously worked in the Illinois House of Representatives and is a graduate of Illinois State University.

Brian Hamer has led the Department of Revenue’s efforts to save Illinois millions of dollars by boosting electronic filing of tax returns as well as collecting tens of millions of dollars from gasoline tax evaders. He also administered the state’s 2010 tax amnesty program. He is a former deputy director of the Chicago Department of Revenue and previously served in Chicago’s corporation counsel office. Prior to his work in government, Hamer graduated from Yale University and earned a law degree from Columbia University, where he edited the school’s law review journal.

As Director of the Department of Healthcare and Family Services, Julie Hamos is leading the state’s implementation of national healthcare reform, and negotiated and led passage of Illinois’ historic Medicaid reform law. Hamos previously served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1999 to 2010, representing the 18th District. Prior to her election to the General Assembly, Hamos worked as the legislative counsel and policy advisor to then-State’s Attorney Richard M. Daley, before being appointed director of the Child Support Division, which oversees more than 300,000 child support cases each year. Hamos earned a Bachelor’s degree from Washington University and a law degree from George Washington University.

As Secretary of the Department of Transportation, Gary Hannig is leading implementation of Illinois Jobs Now!, the largest capital construction and job creation plan in Illinois’ history. Previously, Hannig served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1979 to 2009, representing the 98th district, eventually becoming Deputy Majority Leader. He graduated from the University of Illinois with a degree in accounting.

Prior to his appointment to head the Department of Children and Family Services, Erwin McEwen served as child welfare administrator at Lakeside Community Committee, where he oversaw four core child welfare programs. He has committed 20 years of service to youth and families in the Illinois social services community, serving at Kaleidoscope, DCFS, Hull House and Lakeside. McEwen has also served as a member of the Illinois Statewide Foster Parent Advisory Council, the Illinois Child Care Association Board of Directors, the Child Welfare Advisory Committee on Performance-Based Contracting, and the African American Family Commission's Monitoring and Oversight Committee.

Secretary Michelle R.B. Saddler has led the Department of Human Services since October 2009, except during a time when she served as Governor Quinn’s Chief of Staff from August 2010 to December 2010. Saddler led implementation of the state’s nationally-recognized Put Illinois to Work program, which put more than 26,000 people to work throughout the state, giving them valuable job experience to ensure that they are competitive in the workforce. Her past positions include Vice President for International Adoptions for the Lifelink Corporation and Executive Director of the Illinois Metropolitan Investment Fund. She also served as Director of Investments with then-Illinois State Treasurer Quinn and is a Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Protestants for the Common Good.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

NJ Gov Christie Runs Radio Ad Asking IL Businesses to Relocate to New Jersey

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Rahm Emanuel Back on Ballot

All 7 Justices Agreed that Rahm Emanuel is qualified to run for mayor based upon his residency status.Last Paragraph of the Supreme Court Decision in which 5 of the Justices Concur.

"So there will be no mistake, let us be entirely clear. This court's decision is based on the following and only on the following: (1) what it meants to be a resident for the election purposes was clearly established long ago, and Illinois law has been consistent on the matter since at least the 19th Century; (2) the novel standard adopted by the appellate court majority is without any foundation in Illinois law; (3) the Board's factual findings were not against the manifest weight of the evidence; and (4) the Board's decision was not clearly erroneous."

"Because of the breadth of today's decision, we do not join the majority's holding that residency is the equivalent of the domicile and that intent, therefore determines residency, even in the absence of any physical presence. Rater, we would answer the narrow question that was actually raised by the objectors in this case: Does a person lose his permanent abode if the abode is rented during the relevant residency period? To that question we answer "no" For that reason alone, we join the the judgement of the majority .

Appellate Court REVERSED
Circuit Court AFIRMED

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Sen Kirk's Reaction to State of the Union

Statement from Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) on State of the Union Address

"The Address reflected an important call for civility after the Arizona shootings. Senator Durbin and I sat together as patriots, not partisans.

The chief threat to our economy is runaway federal spending and debt. The American people elected a new Congress with a mandate to cut spending, reduce debt and keep taxes low. Unfortunately, I heard more ways to spend tax dollars than ways to cut the budget. Republicans should support the President's efforts to consolidate the federal government and his call for ending congressional earmarks.

Congress must soon answer the President's request to borrow more money. We should say no- unless legislation is coupled with new anti-spending reforms that would make any future additions to our debt increasingly impossible. I am also eager to join in the Administration's discussion towards a simplified tax code and ending regulations that hamper economic growth."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) Republican Response to the State of the Union 2011

The text of the official Republican response to President Obama's State of the Union address from Rep. Paul Ryan, as prepared for delivery.

Good evening. I'm Congressman Paul Ryan from Janesville, Wisconsin — and Chairman here at the House Budget Committee.

President Obama just addressed a Congressional chamber filled with many new faces. One face we did not see tonight was that of our friend and colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. We all miss Gabby and her cheerful spirit; and we are praying for her return to the House Chamber.

Earlier this month, President Obama spoke movingly at a memorial event for the six people who died on that violent morning in Tucson. Still, there are no words that can lift the sorrow that now engulfs the families and friends of the fallen.

What we can do is assure them that the nation is praying for them; that, in the words of the Psalmist, the Lord heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds; and that over time grace will replace grief.

As Gabby continues to make encouraging progress, we must keep her and the others in our thoughts as we attend to the work now before us.

Tonight, the President focused a lot of attention on our economy in general — and on our deficit and debt in particular.

He was right to do so, and some of his words were reassuring. As chairman of the House Budget Committee, I assure you that we want to work with the President to restrain federal spending.

In one of our first acts in the new majority, House Republicans voted to cut Congress's own budget. And just today, the House voted to restore the spending discipline that Washington sorely needs.

The reason is simple.

A few years ago, reducing spending was important. Today, it's imperative. Here's why.

We face a crushing burden of debt. The debt will soon eclipse our entire economy, and grow to catastrophic levels in the years ahead.

On this current path, when my three children — who are now 6, 7, and 8 years old — are raising their own children, the federal government will double in size, and so will the taxes they pay.

No economy can sustain such high levels of debt and taxation. The next generation will inherit a stagnant economy and a diminished country.

Frankly, it's one of my greatest concerns as a parent — and I know many of you feel the same way.

Our debt is the product of acts by many presidents and many Congresses over many years. No one person or party is responsible for it.

There is no doubt the President came into office facing a severe fiscal and economic situation.

Unfortunately, instead of restoring the fundamentals of economic growth, he engaged in a stimulus spending spree that not only failed to deliver on its promise to create jobs, but also plunged us even deeper into debt.

The facts are clear: Since taking office, President Obama has signed into law spending increases of nearly 25 percent for domestic government agencies — an 84 percent increase when you include the failed stimulus.

All of this new government spending was sold as "investment." Yet after two years, the unemployment rate remains above 9% and government has added over $3 trillion to our debt.

Then the President and his party made matters even worse, by creating a new open-ended health care entitlement.

What we already know about the President's health care law is this: Costs are going up, premiums are rising, and millions of people will lose the coverage they currently have. Job creation is being stifled by all of its taxes, penalties, mandates and fees.

Businesses and unions from around the country are asking the Obama Administration for waivers from the mandates. Washington should not be in the business of picking winners and losers. The President mentioned the need for regulatory reform to ease the burden on American businesses. We agree — and we think his health care law would be a great place to start.

Last week, House Republicans voted for a full repeal of this law, as we pledged to do, and we will work to replace it with fiscally responsible, patient-centered reforms that actually reduce costs and expand coverage.

Health care spending is driving the explosive growth of our debt. And the President's law is accelerating our country toward bankruptcy.

Our debt is out of control. What was a fiscal challenge is now a fiscal crisis.

We cannot deny it; instead we must, as Americans, confront it responsibly.

And that is exactly what Republicans pledge to do.

Americans are skeptical of both political parties, and that skepticism is justified — especially when it comes to spending. So hold all of us accountable.


In this very room, the House will produce, debate, and advance a budget. Last year — in an unprecedented failure — Congress chose not to pass, or even propose a budget. The spending spree continued unchecked.

We owe you a better choice and a different vision.

Our forthcoming budget is our obligation to you — to show you how we intend to do things differently … how we will cut spending to get the debt down… help create jobs and prosperity … and reform government programs. If we act soon, and if we act responsibly, people in and near retirement will be protected.

These budget debates are not just about the programs of government; they're also about the purpose of government.

So I'd like to share with you the principles that guide us. They are anchored in the wisdom of the founders; in the spirit of the Declaration of Independence; and in the words of the American Constitution.

They have to do with the importance of limited government; and with the blessing of self-government.

We believe government's role is both vital and limited — to defend the nation from attack and provide for the common defense ... to secure our borders ... to protect innocent life ... to uphold our laws and Constitutional rights ... to ensure domestic tranquility and equal opportunity ... and to help provide a safety net for those who cannot provide for themselves.

We believe that the government has an important role to create the conditions that promote entrepreneurship, upward mobility, and individual responsibility.

We believe, as our founders did, that "the pursuit of happiness" depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government.

Limited government also means effective government. When government takes on too many tasks, it usually doesn't do any of them very well. It's no coincidence that trust in government is at an all-time low now that the size of government is at an all-time high.

The President and the Democratic Leadership have shown, by their actions, that they believe government needs to increase its size and its reach, its price tag and its power.

Whether sold as "stimulus" or repackaged as "investment," their actions show they want a federal government that controls too much; taxes too much; and spends too much in order to do too much.

And during the last two years, that is exactly what we have gotten — along with record deficits and debt — to the point where the President is now urging Congress to increase the debt limit.

We believe the days of business as usual must come to an end. We hold to a couple of simple convictions: Endless borrowing is not a strategy; spending cuts have to come first.

Our nation is approaching a tipping point.

We are at a moment, where if government's growth is left unchecked and unchallenged, America's best century will be considered our past century. This is a future in which we will transform our social safety net into a hammock, which lulls able-bodied people into lives of complacency and dependency.

Depending on bureaucracy to foster innovation, competitiveness, and wise consumer choices has never worked — and it won't work now.

We need to chart a new course.

Speaking candidly, as one citizen to another: We still have time ... but not much time. If we continue down our current path, we know what our future will be.

Just take a look at what's happening to Greece, Ireland, the United Kingdom and other nations in Europe. They didn't act soon enough; and now their governments have been forced to impose painful austerity measures: large benefit cuts to seniors and huge tax increases on everybody.

Their day of reckoning has arrived. Ours is around the corner. That is why we must act now.

Some people will back away from this challenge. But I see this challenge as an opportunity to rebuild what Lincoln called the "central ideas" of the Republic.

We believe a renewed commitment to limited government will unshackle our economy and create millions of new jobs and opportunities for all people, of every background, to succeed and prosper. Under this approach, the spirit of initiative — not political clout — determines who succeeds.

Millions of families have fallen on hard times not because of our ideals of free enterprise — but because our leaders failed to live up to those ideals; because of poor decisions made in Washington and Wall Street that caused a financial crisis, squandered our savings, broke our trust, and crippled our economy.


Today, a similar kind of irresponsibility threatens not only our livelihoods but our way of life.

We need to reclaim our American system of limited government, low taxes, reasonable regulations, and sound money, which has blessed us with unprecedented prosperity. And it has done more to help the poor than any other economic system ever designed. That's the real secret to job creation — not borrowing and spending more money in Washington.

Limited government and free enterprise have helped make America the greatest nation on earth.

These are not easy times, but America is an exceptional nation. In all the chapters of human history, there has never been anything quite like America. The American story has been cherished, advanced, and defended over the centuries.

And it now falls to this generation to pass on to our children a nation that is stronger, more vibrant, more decent, and better than the one we inherited.

Thank you and good night.

Key Points of President's Plan to "Win the Future"


In his State of the Union, President Obama spoke of the need to maintain America’s leadership in a rapidly changing world so that our economy is competitive – growing and working for all Americans. To do so, he is putting forward a plan to help the United States win the future by out-innovating, out-educating, and out-building our global competition. At the same time, the President understands the need to reform the way our government does business and take responsibility for our deficit – by investing in what makes America stronger and cutting what doesn’t.

· Innovate: The President is calling for new investments in American innovation. The President’s Budget will help increase the nation’s R&D investments, as a share of GDP, to its highest levels since President Kennedy. He is issuing a challenge to America’s scientists and engineers to invent new clean energy technologies that will lead the world. To incentivize these innovations, the President is calling for 80 percent of America’s electricity to come from clean sources by 2035, including wind, solar, nuclear, clean coal and natural gas. He is also putting forward measures to ensure that the U.S. is the first country to put 1 million advanced technology vehicles on its roads.

· Educate: The President understands that to win the future, we have to win the race to educate our children. Building on the success of Race to the Top, he is calling on Congress to re-define and right-size the federal role in education, by replacing No Child Left Behind with a new law that raises expectations, challenges failure, rewards success, and provides greater flexibility for schools to innovate and improve results for their students. The President is also pledging to prepare an additional 100,000 science, technology, engineering, and math teachers by the end of the decade. To help restore America’s global leadership in higher education, the President will continue efforts to strengthen the Pell Grant program and is calling on Congress to make permanent his American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth $10,000 for four years of college.

· Build: The President is calling for a new effort to ensure that the U.S. has the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – from roads and airports to high-speed rail and high-speed Internet. He is proposing efforts to repair and rebuild America’s infrastructure and put forward a National Wireless Initiative to help business extend the next generation of wireless coverage to 98 percent of the population.

· Reform: The President is working to reform government so that it is leaner and smarter for the 21st century, removing barriers and creating new incentives for growth. The President has ordered a review of regulations to remove needless burdens, while ensuring common sense standards to protect the American people. He also asked for efforts to merge, consolidate and reorganize federal agencies to make America more competitive. The President is urging reforms to further reduce the rate of health care cost growth, including medical malpractice liability. And to ensure that the U.S. remains the best place for businesses to invest, President Obama is calling to reform our corporate tax system, eliminating loopholes and lowering the corporate rate without adding to the deficit.

· Responsibility: The President recognizes that both parties and both houses of Congress must come together to reduce our deficits. As a step toward achieving that goal, he is calling for a five-year freeze on all spending outside of security, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. This freeze will require substantial cuts, including to programs the President supports, to allow for the investments in education and research that our economy needs. He called for a bipartisan effort to strengthen Social Security to safeguard it for future generations, and wants both parties and both houses of Congress to work together to cut spending wherever it may be appropriate, including health spending, defense spending and spending in the tax code.


From the Internet to GPS, inventions by talented scientists and engineers supported by government investments have created good middle class American jobs and transformed the world. That is why the President’s Budget will help America win the future, increasing the nation’s research and development investment as a share of GDP to its highest level since President Kennedy launched the space race. President Obama’s innovation agenda includes:

· A new commitment to supporting clean energy technology, paid for by ending taxpayer subsidies for fossil fuels: The President’s Budget will propose increasing clean energy technology funding by a third compared to 2010, including an expansion of the successful ARPA-E research program and a doubling of the number of Energy Innovation Hubs operating around the country. These Hubs will allow America’s scientists and engineers to gather the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy. The President’s Budget will also focus on high-value research on clean energy deployment, including more than doubling investments in energy efficiency and a more than 85 percent increase in renewable energy investment. These investments will support the “$1 a Watt” initiative to make solar energy cost competitive; increased funding for 24-hour geothermal renewable energy; and industrial efficiency to keep U.S. manufacturing competitive. To ensure that we make these investments without adding to the deficit, the President called for ending the approximately $4 billion per year in tax subsidies to oil, gas and other fossil fuel producers.

· Putting 1 million advanced technology vehicles on U.S. roads by 2015: In 2008, the President set an ambitious goal of putting 1 million advanced technology vehicles on the road by 2015 – which would put us on a path to reducing oil consumption by 785 million barrels by 2030. While the President’s efforts to date have positioned the U.S. to meet that goal, more is needed to ensure that the U.S. is the first country to put 1 million advanced vehicles on its roads. To reach that goal, President Obama will propose in his Budget a new effort to support electric vehicle manufacturing and adoption in the U.S. through improved consumer rebates, investments in R&D, and competitive programs to encourage communities that invest in electric vehicle infrastructure. This builds on our ongoing efforts to reduce dependence on foreign oil through aggressive steps including strong fuel economy standards for cars and trucks and significant investments in biofuels.

· Doubling the share of electricity generated from clean energy sources by 2035: By proposing to make sure that 80 percent of electricity comes from clean energy sources, the President is proposing new standards that will help create a market to unleash innovation across a range of energy sources, from renewable sources to nuclear power, clean coal, and natural gas. This standard would be coupled with new efforts to promote energy efficiency that save money for American families and businesses – including a new initiative to catalyze private sector investment and upgrade commercial buildings such as offices, stores, schools and other municipal buildings, universities, and hospitals. It will also build on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s efforts to site more renewable energy projects on public lands than at any point in history.


To guarantee America’s continued success, no race is more important to win than the one to educate our children. That is why President Obama remains committed to the goal of preparing every student to graduate from high school ready for college and a career. The President is focused on ensuring that America reclaims its leadership in the world with the highest proportion of college graduates by the end of the decade. To transform our education system, the President called for:

· Raising expectations to reform America’s schools: Building on the success and reforms of Race to the Top, the President is pledging to work with Congress to apply a bipartisan approach to replacing No Child Left Behind. The Administration’s Blueprint for Reform calls for a re-defined federal role in education that will raise expectations for schools and students, and make room for states and school leaders to lead the way in improving results. The President’s Budget will call for bold restructuring of federal funding to focus on a new goal of college and career readiness for all students.

· Preparing 100,000 new STEM teachers: President Obama has proposed efforts to prepare 100,000 new teachers in science, technology, engineering, and math – key skills for the best jobs in America. The President’s plan will expand promising and effective teacher preparation models and prepare more of the nation’s top STEM graduates for a teaching career.

· Promoting college access and completion: The President will continue efforts to strengthen the Pell Grant, promote more affordable student loans, and revitalize and expand access to America’s community colleges. In addition, the President called on Congress to make permanent the American Opportunity Tax Credit that’s worth up to $10,000 for four years of college and has helped millions of middle class families reinvest real dollars in their children’s higher education.

· Reforming immigration laws to stop expelling talent: The President asked Congress to work with him to reform our immigration system in a comprehensive manner so that we stop expelling talented and responsible young people, whether they were brought here by their parents as children, or come from other countries to pursue college and advanced degrees. As we work to rebuild the economy, our ability to thrive depends, in part, on restoring responsibility and accountability to our immigration system.


President Obama called on the nation to repair our existing infrastructure and build new ways to move people, goods and information; from high-speed trains to high-speed Internet – creating middle-class jobs and strengthening our ability to win the future by competing in a global economy. The President’s plan to redouble our efforts on infrastructure includes:

· Repairing roads, bridges and transit: The President’s Budget will outline a comprehensive, six-year plan to leverage our resources to repair crumbling roads, bridges, and transit. It will feature up-front investments that will both help generate hundreds of thousands of jobs now and lay a foundation for future economic growth that will benefit all Americans. It will also include transformational investments such as an infrastructure bank that will revolutionize infrastructure finance, leveraging government resources through attracting private capital to build projects of national and regional significance. The President is committed to making sure that this infrastructure program is fully paid for, and free of earmarks.

· Increasing access to high-speed rail: The President is proposing a significant down payment on a national rail network so that, within 25 years, 80 percent of Americans have convenient access to the high-speed rail system, cutting travel time in half relative to driving a car. This new system of high-speed and intercity passenger rail will connect communities, reduce travel times and congestion, create skilled manufacturing jobs that can't be outsourced, and spur new innovations by the next generation of American entrepreneurs.

· Launching a National Wireless Initiative to provide 98 percent of Americans access to high-speed Internet: To move toward connecting every American to the digital age, including rural communities, the President announced that he will work to help business extend the next generation of wireless services to 98 percent of all Americans. This National Wireless Initiative will enable businesses to grow faster, students to learn more, and public safety officials to access state-of-the-art, secure, nationwide, and interoperable mobile communications. For public safety officials, this can mean the difference between success and failure, or even life and death; as such technologies can allow emergency workers to access building designs at the scene of an accident and police officers to send pictures to one another in real-time. Finally, the initiative will foster the conditions for the next generations of wireless technology, nearly doubling the amount of wireless spectrum available for mobile broadband (through incentive auctions and other mechanisms to ensure spectrum is used more efficiently) and providing critical support for R&D in wireless innovation.


The President is committed to reforms that make government leaner, smarter, more open and ready for the 21st century. These reforms will enable America to win the future by removing barriers and creating incentives for growth, while protecting the health, safety, and well-being of the American people.

· Reforming the corporate tax code: The President is proposing a bipartisan effort to reform the corporate tax code to support economic growth, competitiveness and investment in the United States. Over decades, the corporate tax code has been filled by deductions and loopholes that benefit narrow interests and erode our tax base and requires us to have one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. This system is working against our economy’s competitiveness and growth potential. That is why the President is calling for a fundamental reform of the corporate tax system to close loopholes and use the savings to pass the first reduction in the corporate tax rate in 25 years, without adding a dime to the deficit.

· Passing trade agreements that help reach our goal of doubling exports by 2014: As part of his commitment to doubling exports by 2014, the President is calling for trade agreements that keep faith with American workers and create American jobs. In keeping with that framework, he is also calling on Congress to pass the recently completed U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement. In addition, he is calling to extend this successful model of trade talks to new potential trade deals – from South America to Asia Pacific, and to our global trade talks. He will also push for additional export agreements like the recently signed agreements with India and China that will support more than 250,000 jobs in the U.S.

· Building on deficit reduction in the Affordable Care Act with additional measures to reduce health care costs – including medical malpractice reform: Building on the deficit reduction already passed through the Affordable Care Act, the President said his Budget will include further efforts to reduce the cost of health care. As part of these efforts, the President pledged to work with Republicans to support state reforms of medical malpractice systems to bring down costs and improve care – building on Administration efforts already underway to assess what works in medical malpractice reform.

· Reviewing and eliminating burdensome regulation: President Obama has ordered a review of regulations to ensure that the government is achieving the right balance between safeguarding the public through common sense standards, without needlessly burdening business.

· Reorganizing the Federal Government: The President announced that, in the coming months, he will ask for the authority to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the Federal Government in a way that makes America more competitive – the first such reorganization in half a century.

· Restoring faith in government: The President stated his commitment to new measures to restore faith in government – including providing taxpayers with a website that shows them how their tax dollars are being spent, renewing his call to veto special interest “earmarks” in all legislation, and asking Congress to publish all visitor records so Americans can know when lobbyists are meeting with elected officials and to pass the DISCLOSE act so that Americans can know when special interests are funding political campaign activity.


The President made clear that now is the time to make the hard choices to reduce our deficits without sacrificing the investments we need to win the future – and that doing so will require bringing together members of both parties and both houses of Congress. As part of a down-payment on these efforts he is proposing in his Budget, the President is:

· Proposing a five-year freeze on discretionary spending: As a down payment toward reducing the deficit, the President is calling for a five-year freeze on non-security discretionary spending. The freeze will reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over 10 years, and bring non-security discretionary spending to the lowest share of the economy since President Eisenhower was in office. This freeze will require substantial cuts, including to programs the President supports. In areas outside the freeze, we also will be looking for cuts and efficiencies. For instance, the President is putting forward a five-year plan proposed by Secretary Gates to achieve an additional $78 billion in defense savings.

· Strengthening Social Security for future generations: The President pledged to work with both parties to safeguard Social Security for future generations. He called for a bipartisan solution, working with both houses, that will strengthen Social Security and its protections for the most vulnerable – without putting at risk current retirees or people with disabilities, slashing benefits for future generations, or subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.

· Ending the extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent: The President reiterated his strong opposition to permanent extension of tax cuts for the wealthiest 2 percent. The President believes that given the hard choices we need to invest in the future and reduce our deficits, we need to allow the upper-income tax cuts to expire and return the estate tax to its 2009 levels.


Text of President Obama's 2011 State of the Union Address

Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery

State of the Union Address

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Washington, DC

Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow Americans:

Tonight I want to begin by congratulating the men and women of the 112th Congress, as well as your new Speaker, John Boehner. And as we mark this occasion, we are also mindful of the empty chair in this Chamber, and pray for the health of our colleague – and our friend – Gabby Giffords.

It’s no secret that those of us here tonight have had our differences over the last two years. The debates have been contentious; we have fought fiercely for our beliefs. And that’s a good thing. That’s what a robust democracy demands. That’s what helps set us apart as a nation.

But there’s a reason the tragedy in Tucson gave us pause. Amid all the noise and passions and rancor of our public debate, Tucson reminded us that no matter who we are or where we come from, each of us is a part of something greater – something more consequential than party or political preference.

We are part of the American family. We believe that in a country where every race and faith and point of view can be found, we are still bound together as one people; that we share common hopes and a common creed; that the dreams of a little girl in Tucson are not so different than those of our own children, and that they all deserve the chance to be fulfilled.

That, too, is what sets us apart as a nation.

Now, by itself, this simple recognition won’t usher in a new era of cooperation. What comes of this moment is up to us. What comes of this moment will be determined not by whether we can sit together tonight, but whether we can work together tomorrow.

I believe we can. I believe we must. That’s what the people who sent us here expect of us. With their votes, they’ve determined that governing will now be a shared responsibility between parties. New laws will only pass with support from Democrats and Republicans. We will move forward together, or not at all – for the challenges we face are bigger than party, and bigger than politics.

At stake right now is not who wins the next election – after all, we just had an election. At stake is whether new jobs and industries take root in this country, or somewhere else. It’s whether the hard work and industry of our people is rewarded. It’s whether we sustain the leadership that has made America not just a place on a map, but a light to the world.

We are poised for progress. Two years after the worst recession most of us have ever known, the stock market has come roaring back. Corporate profits are up. The economy is growing again.

But we have never measured progress by these yardsticks alone. We measure progress by the success of our people. By the jobs they can find and the quality of life those jobs offer. By the prospects of a small business owner who dreams of turning a good idea into a thriving enterprise. By the opportunities for a better life that we pass on to our children.

That’s the project the American people want us to work on. Together.

We did that in December. Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today. Every business can write off the full cost of the new investments they make this year. These steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year.

But we have more work to do. The steps we’ve taken over the last two years may have broken the back of this recession – but to win the future, we’ll need to take on challenges that have been decades in the making.

Many people watching tonight can probably remember a time when finding a good job meant showing up at a nearby factory or a business downtown. You didn’t always need a degree, and your competition was pretty much limited to your neighbors. If you worked hard, chances are you’d have a job for life, with a decent paycheck, good benefits, and the occasional promotion. Maybe you’d even have the pride of seeing your kids work at the same company.

That world has changed. And for many, the change has been painful. I’ve seen it in the shuttered windows of once booming factories, and the vacant storefronts of once busy Main Streets. I’ve heard it in the frustrations of Americans who’ve seen their paychecks dwindle or their jobs disappear – proud men and women who feel like the rules have been changed in the middle of the game.

They’re right. The rules have changed. In a single generation, revolutions in technology have transformed the way we live, work and do business. Steel mills that once needed 1,000 workers can now do the same work with 100. Today, just about any company can set up shop, hire workers, and sell their products wherever there’s an internet connection.

Meanwhile, nations like China and India realized that with some changes of their own, they could compete in this new world. And so they started educating their children earlier and longer, with greater emphasis on math and science. They’re investing in research and new technologies. Just recently, China became home to the world’s largest private solar research facility, and the world’s fastest computer.

So yes, the world has changed. The competition for jobs is real. But this shouldn’t discourage us. It should challenge us. Remember – for all the hits we’ve taken these last few years, for all the naysayers predicting our decline, America still has the largest, most prosperous economy in the world. No workers are more productive than ours. No country has more successful companies, or grants more patents to inventors and entrepreneurs. We are home to the world’s best colleges and universities, where more students come to study than any other place on Earth.

What’s more, we are the first nation to be founded for the sake of an idea – the idea that each of us deserves the chance to shape our own destiny. That is why centuries of pioneers and immigrants have risked everything to come here. It’s why our students don’t just memorize equations, but answer questions like “What do you think of that idea? What would you change about the world? What do you want to be when you grow up?”

The future is ours to win. But to get there, we can’t just stand still. As Robert Kennedy told us, “The future is not a gift. It is an achievement.” Sustaining the American Dream has never been about standing pat. It has required each generation to sacrifice, and struggle, and meet the demands of a new age.

Now it’s our turn. We know what it takes to compete for the jobs and industries of our time. We need to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world. We have to make America the best place on Earth to do business. We need to take responsibility for our deficit, and reform our government. That’s how our people will prosper. That’s how we’ll win the future. And tonight, I’d like to talk about how we get there.

The first step in winning the future is encouraging American innovation.

None of us can predict with certainty what the next big industry will be, or where the new jobs will come from. Thirty years ago, we couldn’t know that something called the Internet would lead to an economic revolution. What we can do – what America does better than anyone – is spark the creativity and imagination of our people. We are the nation that put cars in driveways and computers in offices; the nation of Edison and the Wright brothers; of Google and Facebook. In America, innovation doesn’t just change our lives. It’s how we make a living.

Our free enterprise system is what drives innovation. But because it’s not always profitable for companies to invest in basic research, throughout history our government has provided cutting-edge scientists and inventors with the support that they need. That’s what planted the seeds for the Internet. That’s what helped make possible things like computer chips and GPS.

Just think of all the good jobs – from manufacturing to retail – that have come from those breakthroughs.

Half a century ago, when the Soviets beat us into space with the launch of a satellite called Sputnik¸ we had no idea how we’d beat them to the moon. The science wasn’t there yet. NASA didn’t even exist. But after investing in better research and education, we didn’t just surpass the Soviets; we unleashed a wave of innovation that created new industries and millions of new jobs.

This is our generation’s Sputnik moment. Two years ago, I said that we needed to reach a level of research and development we haven’t seen since the height of the Space Race. In a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal. We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology – an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people.

Already, we are seeing the promise of renewable energy. Robert and Gary Allen are brothers who run a small Michigan roofing company. After September 11th, they volunteered their best roofers to help repair the Pentagon. But half of their factory went unused, and the recession hit them hard.

Today, with the help of a government loan, that empty space is being used to manufacture solar shingles that are being sold all across the country. In Robert’s words, “We reinvented ourselves.”

That’s what Americans have done for over two hundred years: reinvented ourselves. And to spur on more success stories like the Allen Brothers, we’ve begun to reinvent our energy policy. We’re not just handing out money. We’re issuing a challenge. We’re telling America’s scientists and engineers that if they assemble teams of the best minds in their fields, and focus on the hardest problems in clean energy, we’ll fund the Apollo Projects of our time.

At the California Institute of Technology, they’re developing a way to turn sunlight and water into fuel for our cars. At Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they’re using supercomputers to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities. With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I’m asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but they’re doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday’s energy, let’s invest in tomorrow’s.

Now, clean energy breakthroughs will only translate into clean energy jobs if businesses know there will be a market for what they’re selling. So tonight, I challenge you to join me in setting a new goal: by 2035, 80% of America’s electricity will come from clean energy sources. Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal, and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all – and I urge Democrats and Republicans to work together to make it happen.

Maintaining our leadership in research and technology is crucial to America’s success. But if we want to win the future – if we want innovation to produce jobs in America and not overseas – then we also have to win the race to educate our kids.

Think about it. Over the next ten years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school degree. And yet, as many as a quarter of our students aren’t even finishing high school. The quality of our math and science education lags behind many other nations. America has fallen to 9th in the proportion of young people with a college degree. And so the question is whether all of us – as citizens, and as parents – are willing to do what’s necessary to give every child a chance to succeed.

That responsibility begins not in our classrooms, but in our homes and communities. It’s family that first instills the love of learning in a child. Only parents can make sure the TV is turned off and homework gets done. We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated, but the winner of the science fair; that success is not a function of fame or PR, but of hard work and discipline.

Our schools share this responsibility. When a child walks into a classroom, it should be a place of high expectations and high performance. But too many schools don’t meet this test. That’s why instead of just pouring money into a system that’s not working, we launched a competition called Race to the Top. To all fifty states, we said, “If you show us the most innovative plans to improve teacher quality and student achievement, we’ll show you the money.”

Race to the Top is the most meaningful reform of our public schools in a generation. For less than one percent of what we spend on education each year, it has led over 40 states to raise their standards for teaching and learning. These standards were developed, not by Washington, but by Republican and Democratic governors throughout the country. And Race to the Top should be the approach we follow this year as we replace No Child Left Behind with a law that is more flexible and focused on what’s best for our kids.

You see, we know what’s possible for our children when reform isn’t just a top-down mandate, but the work of local teachers and principals; school boards and communities.

Take a school like Bruce Randolph in Denver. Three years ago, it was rated one of the worst schools in Colorado; located on turf between two rival gangs. But last May, 97% of the seniors received their diploma. Most will be the first in their family to go to college. And after the first year of the school’s transformation, the principal who made it possible wiped away tears when a student said “Thank you, Mrs. Waters, for showing… that we are smart and we can make it.”

Let’s also remember that after parents, the biggest impact on a child’s success comes from the man or woman at the front of the classroom. In South Korea, teachers are known as “nation builders.” Here in America, it’s time we treated the people who educate our children with the same level of respect. We want to reward good teachers and stop making excuses for bad ones. And over the next ten years, with so many Baby Boomers retiring from our classrooms, we want to prepare 100,000 new teachers in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math.

In fact, to every young person listening tonight who’s contemplating their career choice: If you want to make a difference in the life of our nation; if you want to make a difference in the life of a child – become a teacher. Your country needs you.

Of course, the education race doesn’t end with a high school diploma. To compete, higher education must be within reach of every American. That’s why we’ve ended the unwarranted taxpayer subsidies that went to banks, and used the savings to make college affordable for millions of students. And this year, I ask Congress to go further, and make permanent our tuition tax credit – worth $10,000 for four years of college.

Because people need to be able to train for new jobs and careers in today’s fast-changing economy, we are also revitalizing America’s community colleges. Last month, I saw the promise of these schools at Forsyth Tech in North Carolina. Many of the students there used to work in the surrounding factories that have since left town. One mother of two, a woman named Kathy Proctor, had worked in the furniture industry since she was 18 years old. And she told me she’s earning her degree in biotechnology now, at 55 years old, not just because the furniture jobs are gone, but because she wants to inspire her children to pursue their dreams too. As Kathy said, “I hope it tells them to never give up.”

If we take these steps – if we raise expectations for every child, and give them the best possible chance at an education, from the day they’re born until the last job they take – we will reach the goal I set two years ago: by the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

One last point about education. Today, there are hundreds of thousands of students excelling in our schools who are not American citizens. Some are the children of undocumented workers, who had nothing to do with the actions of their parents. They grew up as Americans and pledge allegiance to our flag, and yet live every day with the threat of deportation. Others come here from abroad to study in our colleges and universities. But as soon as they obtain advanced degrees, we send them back home to compete against us. It makes no sense.

Now, I strongly believe that we should take on, once and for all, the issue of illegal immigration. I am prepared to work with Republicans and Democrats to protect our borders, enforce our laws and address the millions of undocumented workers who are now living in the shadows. I know that debate will be difficult and take time. But tonight, let’s agree to make that effort. And let’s stop expelling talented, responsible young people who can staff our research labs, start new businesses, and further enrich this nation.

The third step in winning the future is rebuilding America. To attract new businesses to our shores, we need the fastest, most reliable ways to move people, goods, and information – from high-speed rail to high-speed internet.

Our infrastructure used to be the best – but our lead has slipped. South Korean homes now have greater internet access than we do. Countries in Europe and Russia invest more in their roads and railways than we do. China is building faster trains and newer airports. Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation’s infrastructure, they gave us a “D.”

We have to do better. America is the nation that built the transcontinental railroad, brought electricity to rural communities, and constructed the interstate highway system. The jobs created by these projects didn’t just come from laying down tracks or pavement. They came from businesses that opened near a town’s new train station or the new off-ramp.

Over the last two years, we have begun rebuilding for the 21st century, a project that has meant thousands of good jobs for the hard-hit construction industry. Tonight, I’m proposing that we redouble these efforts.

We will put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We will make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what’s best for the economy, not politicians.

Within 25 years, our goal is to give 80% of Americans access to high-speed rail, which could allow you go places in half the time it takes to travel by car. For some trips, it will be faster than flying – without the pat-down. As we speak, routes in California and the Midwest are already underway.

Within the next five years, we will make it possible for business to deploy the next generation of high-speed wireless coverage to 98% of all Americans. This isn’t just about a faster internet and fewer dropped calls. It’s about connecting every part of America to the digital age. It’s about a rural community in Iowa or Alabama where farmers and small business owners will be able to sell their products all over the world. It’s about a firefighter who can download the design of a burning building onto a handheld device; a student who can take classes with a digital textbook; or a patient who can have face-to-face video chats with her doctor.

All these investments – in innovation, education, and infrastructure – will make America a better place to do business and create jobs. But to help our companies compete, we also have to knock down barriers that stand in the way of their success.

Over the years, a parade of lobbyists has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries. Those with accountants or lawyers to work the system can end up paying no taxes at all. But all the rest are hit with one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. It makes no sense, and it has to change.

So tonight, I’m asking Democrats and Republicans to simplify the system. Get rid of the loopholes. Level the playing field. And use the savings to lower the corporate tax rate for the first time in 25 years – without adding to our deficit.

To help businesses sell more products abroad, we set a goal of doubling our exports by 2014 – because the more we export, the more jobs we create at home. Already, our exports are up. Recently, we signed agreements with India and China that will support more than 250,000 jobs in the United States. And last month, we finalized a trade agreement with South Korea that will support at least 70,000 American jobs. This agreement has unprecedented support from business and labor; Democrats and Republicans, and I ask this Congress to pass it as soon as possible.

Before I took office, I made it clear that we would enforce our trade agreements, and that I would only sign deals that keep faith with American workers, and promote American jobs. That’s what we did with Korea, and that’s what I intend to do as we pursue agreements with Panama and Colombia, and continue our Asia Pacific and global trade talks.

To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I’ve ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them. But I will not hesitate to create or enforce commonsense safeguards to protect the American people. That’s what we’ve done in this country for more than a century. It’s why our food is safe to eat, our water is safe to drink, and our air is safe to breathe. It’s why we have speed limits and child labor laws. It’s why last year, we put in place consumer protections against hidden fees and penalties by credit card companies, and new rules to prevent another financial crisis. And it’s why we passed reform that finally prevents the health insurance industry from exploiting patients.

Now, I’ve heard rumors that a few of you have some concerns about the new health care law. So let me be the first to say that anything can be improved. If you have ideas about how to improve this law by making care better or more affordable, I am eager to work with you. We can start right now by correcting a flaw in the legislation that has placed an unnecessary bookkeeping burden on small businesses.

What I’m not willing to do is go back to the days when insurance companies could deny someone coverage because of a pre-existing condition. I’m not willing to tell James Howard, a brain cancer patient from Texas, that his treatment might not be covered. I’m not willing to tell Jim Houser, a small business owner from Oregon, that he has to go back to paying $5,000 more to cover his employees. As we speak, this law is making prescription drugs cheaper for seniors and giving uninsured students a chance to stay on their parents’ coverage. So instead of re-fighting the battles of the last two years, let’s fix what needs fixing and move forward.

Now, the final step – a critical step – in winning the future is to make sure we aren’t buried under a mountain of debt.

We are living with a legacy of deficit-spending that began almost a decade ago. And in the wake of the financial crisis, some of that was necessary to keep credit flowing, save jobs, and put money in people’s pockets.

But now that the worst of the recession is over, we have to confront the fact that our government spends more than it takes in. That is not sustainable. Every day, families sacrifice to live within their means. They deserve a government that does the same.

So tonight, I am proposing that starting this year, we freeze annual domestic spending for the next five years. This would reduce the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade, and will bring discretionary spending to the lowest share of our economy since Dwight Eisenhower was president.

This freeze will require painful cuts. Already, we have frozen the salaries of hardworking federal employees for the next two years. I’ve proposed cuts to things I care deeply about, like community action programs. The Secretary of Defense has also agreed to cut tens of billions of dollars in spending that he and his generals believe our military can do without.

I recognize that some in this Chamber have already proposed deeper cuts, and I’m willing to eliminate whatever we can honestly afford to do without. But let’s make sure that we’re not doing it on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. And let’s make sure what we’re cutting is really excess weight. Cutting the deficit by gutting our investments in innovation and education is like lightening an overloaded airplane by removing its engine. It may feel like you’re flying high at first, but it won’t take long before you’ll feel the impact.

Now, most of the cuts and savings I’ve proposed only address annual domestic spending, which represents a little more than 12% of our budget. To make further progress, we have to stop pretending that cutting this kind of spending alone will be enough. It won’t.

The bipartisan Fiscal Commission I created last year made this crystal clear. I don’t agree with all their proposals, but they made important progress. And their conclusion is that the only way to tackle our deficit is to cut excessive spending wherever we find it – in domestic spending, defense spending, health care spending, and spending through tax breaks and loopholes.

This means further reducing health care costs, including programs like Medicare and Medicaid, which are the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficit. Health insurance reform will slow these rising costs, which is part of why nonpartisan economists have said that repealing the health care law would add a quarter of a trillion dollars to our deficit. Still, I’m willing to look at other ideas to bring down costs, including one that Republicans suggested last year: medical malpractice reform to rein in frivolous lawsuits.

To put us on solid ground, we should also find a bipartisan solution to strengthen Social Security for future generations. And we must do it without putting at risk current retirees, the most vulnerable, or people with disabilities; without slashing benefits for future generations; and without subjecting Americans’ guaranteed retirement income to the whims of the stock market.

And if we truly care about our deficit, we simply cannot afford a permanent extension of the tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Before we take money away from our schools, or scholarships away from our students, we should ask millionaires to give up their tax break.

It’s not a matter of punishing their success. It’s about promoting America’s success.

In fact, the best thing we could do on taxes for all Americans is to simplify the individual tax code. This will be a tough job, but members of both parties have expressed interest in doing this, and I am prepared to join them.

So now is the time to act. Now is the time for both sides and both houses of Congress – Democrats and Republicans – to forge a principled compromise that gets the job done. If we make the hard choices now to rein in our deficits, we can make the investments we need to win the future.

Let me take this one step further. We shouldn’t just give our people a government that’s more affordable. We should give them a government that’s more competent and efficient. We cannot win the future with a government of the past.

We live and do business in the information age, but the last major reorganization of the government happened in the age of black and white TV. There are twelve different agencies that deal with exports. There are at least five different entities that deal with housing policy. Then there’s my favorite example: the Interior Department is in charge of salmon while they’re in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them in when they’re in saltwater. And I hear it gets even more complicated once they’re smoked.

Now, we have made great strides over the last two years in using technology and getting rid of waste. Veterans can now download their electronic medical records with a click of the mouse. We’re selling acres of federal office space that hasn’t been used in years, and we will cut through red tape to get rid of more. But we need to think bigger. In the coming months, my administration will develop a proposal to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the federal government in a way that best serves the goal of a more competitive America. I will submit that proposal to Congress for a vote – and we will push to get it passed.

In the coming year, we will also work to rebuild people’s faith in the institution of government. Because you deserve to know exactly how and where your tax dollars are being spent, you will be able to go to a website and get that information for the very first time in history. Because you deserve to know when your elected officials are meeting with lobbyists, I ask Congress to do what the White House has already done: put that information online. And because the American people deserve to know that special interests aren’t larding up legislation with pet projects, both parties in Congress should know this: if a bill comes to my desk with earmarks inside, I will veto it.

A 21st century government that’s open and competent. A government that lives within its means. An economy that’s driven by new skills and ideas. Our success in this new and changing world will require reform, responsibility, and innovation. It will also require us to approach that world with a new level of engagement in our foreign affairs.

Just as jobs and businesses can now race across borders, so can new threats and new challenges. No single wall separates East and West; no one rival superpower is aligned against us.

And so we must defeat determined enemies wherever they are, and build coalitions that cut across lines of region and race and religion. America’s moral example must always shine for all who yearn for freedom, justice, and dignity. And because we have begun this work, tonight we can say that American leadership has been renewed and America’s standing has been restored.

Look to Iraq, where nearly 100,000 of our brave men and women have left with their heads held high; where American combat patrols have ended; violence has come down; and a new government has been formed. This year, our civilians will forge a lasting partnership with the Iraqi people, while we finish the job of bringing our troops out of Iraq. America’s commitment has been kept; the Iraq War is coming to an end.

Of course, as we speak, al Qaeda and their affiliates continue to plan attacks against us. Thanks to our intelligence and law enforcement professionals, we are disrupting plots and securing our cities and skies. And as extremists try to inspire acts of violence within our borders, we are responding with the strength of our communities, with respect for the rule of law, and with the conviction that American Muslims are a part of our American family.

We have also taken the fight to al Qaeda and their allies abroad. In Afghanistan, our troops have taken Taliban strongholds and trained Afghan Security Forces. Our purpose is clear – by preventing the Taliban from reestablishing a stranglehold over the Afghan people, we will deny al Qaeda the safe-haven that served as a launching pad for 9/11.

Thanks to our heroic troops and civilians, fewer Afghans are under the control of the insurgency. There will be tough fighting ahead, and the Afghan government will need to deliver better governance. But we are strengthening the capacity of the Afghan people and building an enduring partnership with them. This year, we will work with nearly 50 countries to begin a transition to an Afghan lead. And this July, we will begin to bring our troops home.

In Pakistan, al Qaeda’s leadership is under more pressure than at any point since 2001. Their leaders and operatives are being removed from the battlefield. Their safe-havens are shrinking. And we have sent a message from the Afghan border to the Arabian Peninsula to all parts of the globe: we will not relent, we will not waver, and we will defeat you.

American leadership can also be seen in the effort to secure the worst weapons of war. Because Republicans and Democrats approved the New START Treaty, far fewer nuclear weapons and launchers will be deployed. Because we rallied the world, nuclear materials are being locked down on every continent so they never fall into the hands of terrorists.

Because of a diplomatic effort to insist that Iran meet its obligations, the Iranian government now faces tougher and tighter sanctions than ever before. And on the Korean peninsula, we stand with our ally South Korea, and insist that North Korea keeps its commitment to abandon nuclear weapons.

This is just a part of how we are shaping a world that favors peace and prosperity. With our European allies, we revitalized NATO, and increased our cooperation on everything from counter-terrorism to missile defense. We have reset our relationship with Russia, strengthened Asian alliances, and built new partnerships with nations like India. This March, I will travel to Brazil, Chile, and El Salvador to forge new alliances for progress in the Americas. Around the globe, we are standing with those who take responsibility – helping farmers grow more food; supporting doctors who care for the sick; and combating the corruption that can rot a society and rob people of opportunity.

Recent events have shown us that what sets us apart must not just be our power – it must be the purpose behind it. In South Sudan – with our assistance – the people were finally able to vote for independence after years of war. Thousands lined up before dawn. People danced in the streets. One man who lost four of his brothers at war summed up the scene around him: “This was a battlefield for most of my life. Now we want to be free.”

We saw that same desire to be free in Tunisia, where the will of the people proved more powerful than the writ of a dictator. And tonight, let us be clear: the United States of America stands with the people of Tunisia, and supports the democratic aspirations of all people.

We must never forget that the things we’ve struggled for, and fought for, live in the hearts of people everywhere. And we must always remember that the Americans who have borne the greatest burden in this struggle are the men and women who serve our country.

Tonight, let us speak with one voice in reaffirming that our nation is united in support of our troops and their families. Let us serve them as well as they have served us – by giving them the equipment they need; by providing them with the care and benefits they have earned; and by enlisting our veterans in the great task of building our own nation.

Our troops come from every corner of this country – they are black, white, Latino, Asian and Native American. They are Christian and Hindu, Jewish and Muslim. And, yes, we know that some of them are gay. Starting this year, no American will be forbidden from serving the country they love because of who they love. And with that change, I call on all of our college campuses to open their doors to our military recruiters and the ROTC. It is time to leave behind the divisive battles of the past. It is time to move forward as one nation.

We should have no illusions about the work ahead of us. Reforming our schools; changing the way we use energy; reducing our deficit – none of this is easy. All of it will take time. And it will be harder because we will argue about everything. The cost. The details. The letter of every law.

Of course, some countries don’t have this problem. If the central government wants a railroad, they get a railroad – no matter how many homes are bulldozed. If they don’t want a bad story in the newspaper, it doesn’t get written.

And yet, as contentious and frustrating and messy as our democracy can sometimes be, I know there isn’t a person here who would trade places with any other nation on Earth.

We may have differences in policy, but we all believe in the rights enshrined in our Constitution. We may have different opinions, but we believe in the same promise that says this is a place where you can make it if you try. We may have different backgrounds, but we believe in the same dream that says this is a country where anything’s possible. No matter who you are. No matter where you come from.

That dream is why I can stand here before you tonight. That dream is why a working class kid from Scranton can stand behind me. That dream is why someone who began by sweeping the floors of his father’s Cincinnati bar can preside as Speaker of the House in the greatest nation on Earth.

That dream – that American Dream – is what drove the Allen Brothers to reinvent their roofing company for a new era. It’s what drove those students at Forsyth Tech to learn a new skill and work towards the future. And that dream is the story of a small business owner named Brandon Fisher.

Brandon started a company in Berlin, Pennsylvania that specializes in a new kind of drilling technology. One day last summer, he saw the news that halfway across the world, 33 men were trapped in a Chilean mine, and no one knew how to save them.

But Brandon thought his company could help. And so he designed a rescue that would come to be known as Plan B. His employees worked around the clock to manufacture the necessary drilling equipment. And Brandon left for Chile.

Along with others, he began drilling a 2,000 foot hole into the ground, working three or four days at a time with no sleep. Thirty-seven days later, Plan B succeeded, and the miners were rescued. But because he didn’t want all of the attention, Brandon wasn’t there when the miners emerged. He had already gone home, back to work on his next project.

Later, one of his employees said of the rescue, “We proved that Center Rock is a little company, but we do big things.”

We do big things.

From the earliest days of our founding, America has been the story of ordinary people who dare to dream. That’s how we win the future.

We are a nation that says, “I might not have a lot of money, but I have this great idea for a new company. I might not come from a family of college graduates, but I will be the first to get my degree. I might not know those people in trouble, but I think I can help them, and I need to try. I’m not sure how we’ll reach that better place beyond the horizon, but I know we’ll get there. I know we will.”

We do big things.

The idea of America endures. Our destiny remains our choice. And tonight, more than two centuries later, it is because of our people that our future is hopeful, our journey goes forward, and the state of our union is strong.

Thank you, God Bless You, and may God Bless the United States of America.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Rahm Emanuel Kicked Off Ballot in Race for Mayor of Chicago

An Illinois Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Rahm Emanuel is not qualified to run on the Chicago City ballot for Mayor, as he does not meet the standard set for residency. Mr. Emanuel served as White House Chief of Staff for the first two years of the Obama presidency, and lived in the Washington DC area during that time. Mr. Emanuel however continues to claim that his physical presents in DC does not mean he changed his residency as a Chicagoan, and that he remains qualified to run for Mayor.

The three-judge Illinois Appellate Court, heard oral arguments last week in the case. Their ruling on Monday was a 2-1 split decision that found Mr. Emanuel ineligible to run for mayor.

Lawyers for Mr. Emanuel said last week they will appeal the decision to the Illinois Supreme Court. The state’s high court can decide whether or not to hear the case. Should they decide NOT to hear the case, then the Appeals Court decision would stand, and Mr. Emanuel would not be allowed on the ballot.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Senators Durbin and Kirk to sit together at State of Union Address

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – In the spirit of bipartisanship, U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) today announced that they will sit side-by-side at the President’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday, January 25. Traditionally, Members of Congress are split by party affiliation with Democrats and Republicans sitting on opposite sides of the center aisle in the U.S. House of Representatives chamber.

“Traditions that divide us were made to be broken,” said Durbin. “As we begin to heal after the tragedy in Arizona, it’s important to for our nation's leaders to show unity in the face of such a divisive act. But the real test of bipartisanship will begin the next day, when we go back to work to debate some of the most important issues of our time.”

“Sitting together as Americans rather than partisans is a helpful example of respect and cooperation following the tragedy in Arizona,” said Kirk.


White House Fact Sheet on New Trade Ageements with China

FACT SHEET: U.S.–China Commercial Relations

China is a key market for U.S. exports. Those exports are generating jobs in every corner of the United States and across every major sector. These involve some of our country’s largest companies, but also an increasing number of small and medium-sized enterprises.

In preparation for this visit, several large purchases have been approved including for 200 Boeing airplanes valued at $19 billion. In addition, the Chinese government has indicated that its companies signed 70 contracts for $25 billion in U.S. exports from 12 states. These included sectors ranging from auto parts to agriculture, machinery to chemicals. In addition, 11 investment contracts were signed worth $3.24 billion. Additional, transactions were announced or showcased, exceeding $13.1 billion in total value with approximately $987.8 million in U.S. export content. These deals worth over $45 billion in increased exports will help support an estimated 235,000 jobs in the United States. These cross-border collaborations, both public and private, underpin the expanding U.S.-China commercial partnership, contributing to economic growth and development in both countries. A number of these transactions highlight the increased collaboration in such areas as clean energy and green technologies. Examples of some of the deals associated with this visit include:

· Boeing Airplane Sales: China's agreement to approve airline contracts for 200 orders covers aircraft to be delivered over a three-year period, 2011-2013. The approval, the final step in a $19B package of aircraft, will help Boeing maintain and expand its market share in the world's fastest growing commercial aircraft market. Including 737s and 777s, the agreement help supports more than 100,000 American jobs, including those in Boeing and its suppliers throughout the U.S.

· General Electric --China Ministry of Railways (MOR) Letter of Intent on High Speed Rail Technology Transfer and Purchasing Rolling Stock and Signaling Equipment: The Chinese Ministry of Rail (MOR) and General Electric (GE) have signed a letter of intent expanding upon an existing strategic partnership to bring Chinese high-speed rail technology to the United States. GE and China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock Corporation Limited (CSR) plan to form a joint venture in the United States to manufacture high- and medium-speed electric multiple unit trains. GE estimates that new business generated by the HSR JV could support up to 3,500 jobs in the United States. GE also will agree to manufacture locomotives for China and will provide components for 500 or more locomotives. The LOI will support efforts to capture new business opportunities valued at up to $1.4 billion with an estimated $360 million in U.S. export content, supporting up to 200 GE Transportation jobs.

Navistar Inc.-- JAC Truck and Engine Joint Ventures: Navistar has announced central Chinese government approval for a $400 million, 50-50 joint venture with the state-owned Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Company (JAC). Navistar will export services and parts to be used in the manufacture of diesel engines and commercial trucks. The JV will develop, manufacture, market, and sell heavy duty trucks and light to medium/heavy duty engines, primarily in China. The joint venture will be based in Hefei City, Anhui Province. Once production begins, Navistar anticipates that many components will be sourced from the United States. Direct U.S. exports during the first year of the joint venture are estimated at $15 million, but are forecast to grow significantly over the next five years as production increases. Navistar estimates the net employment benefit of the joint ventures to the United States economy at 200 jobs in the United States, mainly in the field of engineering and other services.

General Electric-Shenhua Gasification Joint Venture: GE and China Shenhua Energy Company Limited (Beijing, China) have formed a joint venture company in order to combine GE’s expertise in gasification and cleaner power generation technologies with Shenhua’s expertise in building and operating gasification and power generation facilities. The joint venture will seek to advance cleaner coal technology solutions for industrial chemicals, fuels, and power generation. GE estimates approximately $150 million in U.S. exports over the first five years of the joint venture, mainly related to technology licensing, engineering, and R&D support. Additionally, the joint venture has potential to generate $1.5 to 2.5 billion in U.S. exports over the long term.

General Electric-Huadian Joint Collaboration Agreement on Decentralized Energy Combined Heat and Power Projects: General Electric is signing a Joint Collaboration Agreement with China Huadian Engineering Co., Ltd for cooperation on Decentralized Energy Combined Heat and Power (DECHP). This agreement will be a binding agreement to develop, market, and sell DECHP generators, an efficient alternative to coal-fired power plants. GE estimates that at least 50 DECHP gas turbine generator sets will be sold in China in the next ten years, resulting in $500 million in sales and $350 million in U.S. export content, supporting over 200 jobs in the United States.

Cummins Hybrid Bus Development and Commercialization: Cummins, Inc (Cummins; Columbus, Indiana) and Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Compay, (Yutong; Zhengzhou, China) have negotiated an agreement to jointly develop and commercialize hybrid power systems for the Chinese bus market. Cummins is presently a supplier to Yutong, and hopes to increase its penetration of the Chinese market by jointly developing and producing a hybrid bus primarily for the Chinese market. Cummins estimates a potential for over $500 million in annual sales. This will be the first partnership of its kind involving Cummins hybrid power systems and a major vehicle manufacturer. Cummins claims that up to 500 jobs could be created in the U.S. related to production, sales, and service of hybrid systems for commercial vehicles for the U.S. and Chinese markets. Cummins also expects an annual savings of 21,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions.

General Electric-AVIC Avionics Joint Venture Agreement: GE and AVIC will sign an agreement to form a new joint venture company to market globally advanced avionics systems for future commercial aircraft. The GE-AVIC joint venture is expected to support 300 high-tech jobs in Michigan and Florida.

UPC Management Wind Power Agreements: UPC Management, LLC (UPC) is a Miami, Florida based wind power developer, having interests in 24 sites in 12 Chinese provinces. The company has negotiated a Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) with the China Guo Dian Corporation (CGD), which develops, builds, operates, and distributes electricity and heat. Under the SFA, CGD and UPC will form ventures leading to the establishment of wind power generation joint ventures. The total value of the SFA investments could reach $1.5 billion, of which UPC will invest up to $735 million.

Honeywell—Haier Group Memorandum of Understanding for Global Strategic Cooperation: Honeywell International Inc., headquartered in Morris Township, New Jersey (Honeywell), entered into an agreement with Haier Group (Haier) to collaborate on the development and promotion of low-emission, high energy-efficiency products and solutions. Honeywell estimates the total value of the five-year MOU at $53 million per annum, or $265 million and U.S. export content at $42 million per annum, or $210 million.

LP Amina MOU with Beijing Energy: LP Amina, environmental engineering company headquartered in Novi, Michigan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Beijing Energy to sell de-nitrification engineering, equipment and other potential environmental and boiler efficiency improvement solutions. This MOU creates a framework for potential long-term cooperation to reduce emissions and improve efficiency across Beijing Energy's power plant facilities in China.

LanzaTech--Bao Steel Joint Venture to Build an Ethanol Plant: LanzaTech Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of LanzaTech New Zealand, headquartered in Roselle, Illinois (LanzaTech), and Bao Steel Group Corporation (Bao Steel), will conclude a Contractual Joint Venture Contract for the construction and operation of a demonstration ethanol production facility in China. The facility will utilize waste flue gas from Bao Steel’s Shanghai steel mill as feed stock and LanzaTech proprietary gas fermentation technology to produce ethanol.

LanzaTech-- Wuhan Kaidi General Research Institute of Engineering and Technology Company Limited Ethanol Production Letter of Intent: LanzaTech Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of LanzaTech New Zealand, headquartered in Roselle, Illinois (LanzaTech), and Wuhan Kaidi General Research Institute of Engineering and Technology Company Limited (Wuhan), will conclude a Letter of Intent for the construction and operation of a demonstration ethanol production facility in China. The facility will utilize Wuhan supplied waste biomass synthesis gas as feed stock and LanzaTech proprietary gas fermentation technology to produce ethanol.

MVP RV -- Winston Battery Limited Recreational Vehicle MOU: MVP RV (MVP; Riverside, California) is a privately-held U.S. company that produces self-powered and trailer Recreational Vehicles. The company has an existing distributor relationship with privately-held Winston Battery Limited (Winston; Shenzhen, China). Winston, through the proposed MOU, plans a major capital injection into MVP RV in the amount of $310 million to promote motor home exports to China. Additionally, Winston Battery Limited will provide capital for the development of all-electric recreation vehicles and charging systems. The goal is to export over 10,000 Class A (self-powered, bus-sized) motor homes and 20,000 Class C (self-powered, van-sized) motor homes to China in the next 3-4 years. MPV estimates the value of these exports to be over $5 billion. The MOU specifies the intention to export vehicles to China through Winston and the eventual incorporation of an all-electric powertrain to future vehicles.

· Caterpillar Inc. – Caterpillar China Investment Co. Ltd. Business Agreement: Caterpillar (Peoria, Illinois) and Caterpillar China Investment Co. Ltd. – a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar – will sign an agreement under which $1.4 billion in U.S.-manufactured mining and construction equipment, and diesel and gas turbine engines will be shipped to China. The intra-company sale will support approximately 7,567 jobs in the United States.

LP Amina MOU with Yixing Union Congregation Co. Ltd: LP Amina, a multinational environmental engineering company headquartered in Novi, Michigan, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Yi Xing Union Congregation Co., Ltd, a Chinese energy and chemical company. The MOU will formalize plans in advance of an expected contract signing, which will establish a collaborative pilot project to demonstrate LP Amina’s patent-pending Coal to Chemicals System. This innovative technology will couple chemical production with power generation and enable the use of thermal energy generated from the chemical production for additional efficiency power generation. This process would also reduce emissions by nearly 90% compared to the conventional production process in use today. Once commercialized, LP Amina estimates that this technology could be deployed in the United States creating up to 500 jobs.

· Optimax Systems, Inc -- Shanghai Micro-Electronics Equipment Co., Ltd. Precision Optics Sale: Optimax Systems, Inc. (Ontario, New York), a manufacturer of high-precision optical components, has signed a new agreement for supplying precision optics to Shanghai-based Shanghai Micro-Electronics Equipment Co., Ltd. (SMEE) for incorporation into SMEE's advanced lithography equipment. SMEE is rapidly expanding its presence in the semi-conductor, MEMS and flat panel display manufacturing industries in China and throughout Asia. By combining their innovative technologies, SMEE and Optimax can further expand potential for next-generation lithography in the Chinese market. Optimax plans a $4 million expansion of its ultra-precision manufacturing capacity to support this new agreement with SMEE, which will include adding 50 new manufacturing jobs for high-precision optical technicians at its Ontario, New York facilities. This follows on a $2 million facility expansion already completed to support business done with SMEE to date.

· Erickson Air-Crane Heavy Lift Helicopter Sale: Erickson Air-Crane (Portland, Oregon) announces the pending sale of five S-64 (commercial) helicopter aircraft to China Taicang Aircrane Company Ltd. The transaction has nearly 100% U.S. export content. While the detailed commercial terms of this agreement are presently under negotiation, the companies have recently executed an Acceptance of Proposal that provides for the five aircraft to be delivered over a two year period beginning with the delivery of the first aircraft by February 28, 2011.

Celanese -- Wison Group Memorandum of Understanding for Ethanol Production: Celanese Far East Co., a subsidiary of Celanese Corporation headquartered in Dallas, Texas (Celanese), and Wison Group Holding Limited (Wison), will conclude a Memorandum of Understanding for the construction and operation of an industrial ethanol production facility in China. Wison plans to invest in a coal gasification unit based on clean coal technology to produce synthesis gas per Celanese specs, and Celanese plans to invest approximately $650 million in an Ethanol Complex using the output from Wison as feed stock, and Celanese proprietary technology, to produce ethanol for industrial use, and potentially for fuel ethanol. This transaction is valued at approximately $815 million, with $50-80 million in U.S. export content. Celanese estimates project implementation will support an estimated 200-250 U.S. jobs.

Westinghouse Electric Company -- China Baotou Nuclear Fuel (CBNF) Fuel Fabrication Agreement: Westinghouse Electric Company concluded a contract to design, manufacture and install fuel fabrication equipment for use by CBNF to manufacture fuel for the Westinghouse AP-1000 nuclear power plants currently under construction at sites across China.

Westinghouse Electric Company-- China State Nuclear Power Technology Corporation (SNPTC) Nuclear Cooperation Agreement: Westinghouse and SNPTC announced a two-year extension of a nuclear cooperation agreement that focuses on continued deployment of the Westinghouse AP-1000 nuclear power plant in China as well as service and maintenance, technology development and strategic investment. The agreement extends the commitment of both Westinghouse and SNPTC to explore future cooperation in areas of strategic interest including large passive plant development; follow-on AP-1000 cooperation; services and research and development.

Boeing, Honeywell, and Pratt & Whitney -Air China Aviation Biofuels MOU: During President Hu’s visit, the Boeing Company and Air China announced an agreement to initiate planning of an inaugural international flight using sustainable aviation biofuels. Furthermore, Boeing, Honeywell, and Pratt & Whitney announced an agreement on the details of the technical support they will offer to Air China in the planning, execution, and analysis of the inaugural biofuel flight. This demonstrates the strong link between the U.S. and China Sustainable Aviation Biofuels industries and aviation’s significant contribution to trade between the U.S. and China.
Boeing, Honeywell, and Pratt & Whitney will also announce an agreement on the details of the technical support they will offer to Air China in the planning, execution, and analysis of the airline’s inaugural biofuel flight. This demonstrates the strong link between the U.S. and China Sustainable Aviation Biofuels industries and aviation’s significant contribution to trade between the U.S. and China. This agreement will highlight the future of the aviation industry, which contributes an estimated $4 trillion to the global economy annually.

AES-- Chongqing Energy Investment Group Memorandum of Comprehensive Cooperation: AES China, a subsidiary of AES Corporation headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, entered into an agreement with Chongqing Energy Investment Group Ltd (Chongqing) to jointly develop, construct and operate a series of renewable energy projects, including hydroelectric, wind, ventilation air methane, clean coal and low carbon technology projects. This transaction is valued at approximately $300 million.

Alcoa and the China Power Investment Corporation MOU: Alcoa (New York, New York) and the China Power Investment Corporation (CPI) announced a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on a broad range of aluminum and energy projects representing an estimated $7.5 billion in investment. The two companies will intensify their collaboration in China on developing clean energy projects and outside China on a broad range of initiatives. The total employment impact to the U.S. economy of this transaction is not known at this time; however, Alcoa estimates that this undertaking will improve the global competitiveness of the company and support jobs in the United States.

Ener1 – Wanxiang Battery Joint Venture: Ener1, Inc. (New York, New York), a manufacturer of Lithium Ion battery systems for electric vehicles and Wanxiang Group, a leading Chinese auto components manufacturer, seek to enter into an MOU to jointly produce advanced battery systems for electric cars and power utilities in Asian markets. This MOU builds upon a binding May 2010 letter of intent and seeks to establish a China-based joint venture to produce lithium-ion cells, modules and battery packs for use in electric vehicles and power grid energy storage applications for the Chinese market and also export to the markets of Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. Ener1 executives credit U.S. DOE match-making and financial assistance with the company’s success in gaining access to the Chinese market. The company expects that participation in this joint venture would be part of a larger strategy to develop manufacturing and design capacity in the United States, supporting up to 1,500 jobs in Indiana.

· Emberclear and CERI Licensing Agreement: EmberClear (Calgary, Alberta Canada), with offices in Houston, TX, signed an exclusive license with Clean Energy Research Institute (CERI), a clean energy technology subsidiary of Huaneng Power Group of China, to become a global licensing and development partner. EmberClear will provide engineering and project development services for economic and efficient clean fossil energy solutions and scientific consulting services in international projects. EmberClear and CERI highlighted the first project of this partnership, a 270 Megawatt IGCC power plant in Pennsylvania that recently received all relevant permits.

Peabody Energy MOU with China Huaneng Group: Peabody Energy, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, and Calera Corporation, headquartered in Los Gatos, California, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China Huaneng Group to develop a supercritical clean coal electricity generation project with carbon capture in the Xilinguole League Prefecture of China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The project would include a large surface coal mine using best practices for safety and environmental excellence, produce clean power, and convert flue gas carbon dioxide into cement-like building materials.

Peabody Energy and Yankuang Xinjiang Nenghua Company Limited MOU: Peabody Energy, headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri and Yankuang Xinjiang Nenghua Company Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yankuang Group Company Limited, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop an integrated clean energy center in China’s Xinjiang Autonomous Region. The center will include construction of an ultra supercritical clean coal electricity generation project and coal-to-natural gas conversion facility fueled by a new open-cut coal mine.

AEP – China Huaneng: American Electric Power Company, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, signed cooperation agreements with three Chinese entities, China Huaneng, State Grid Corporation of China and China National Offshore Oil Corporation. The cooperation agreement with China Huaneng, China’s largest power company, relates to evaluating a Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology developed by China Huaneng and improving the efficiency of coal-fired power plants. The overall goal is to advance commercialization of CCS in both the U.S. and China.

AEP – State Grid Corporation of China: American Electric Power Company, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, signed cooperation agreements with three Chinese entities, China Huaneng, State Grid Corporation of China and China National Offshore Oil Corporation. The cooperation agreement with China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), the largest offshore oil exploration and production company in China, contains CNOOC investment in the AEP's Mountaineer Plant commercial-scale carbon capture and underground storage project, and plans to explore opportunities for the utilization of captured carbon dioxide for enhanced oil and natural gas recovery in the United States. This is expected to benefit the development of CCS technology in the United States and China.

· Duke Energy Corporation--ENN Group Co. Ltd. Eco-City MOU: ENN Group Co. Ltd. and Duke Energy Corporation have concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) outlining the terms and scope of cooperation in the development and utilization of clean energy solutions for the Eco-City, a demonstration project intended to showcase clean coal, electric vehicles and energy efficient building technologies in Langfang, China.

EPIC Clean Technologies--Tengzhou Huawen Paper Co. Paper Joint Venture Agreement: EPIC Clean Technologies Corporation, headquartered in Houston, Texas, and Tengzhou Huawen Paper Co. (THP), will conclude a Contractual Joint Venture Agreement for the redevelopment of the THP paper mill. The newly formed Joint Venture will assume ownership of the existing power plant and install a new clean coal gasification power plant to increase power and steam production, lower CO2 emissions by 35 percent, eliminate most other pollutants, and reduce coal consumption. The project includes a license agreement for use of EPIC gasification technology.