• Supporting America’s Job Creators through a Small Business and Entrepreneurship Agenda. Small businesses were disproportionately impacted by the downturn, and despite improvements there are still significant challenges for small businesses to get the capital and capabilities they need to grow and hire. The President has previously worked with members of both parties in Congress to pass three landmark pieces of small business legislation – including the JOBS Act, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – and the President wants to work with Congress on a small business package that will broaden capital access, cut and simplify taxes for small businesses, and invest in intensive entrepreneurship education.
• Creating Jobs through Shale Gas Development. The President is calling on Congress to work with the Administration and State and local governments to create Sustainable Shale Gas Growth Zones, helping regions come together to make sure shale gas is developed in a safe, responsible way that helps build diverse and resilient regional economies that can withstand boom-and-bust cycles and can be leaders in building and deploying clean energy technologies. Smart regional planning and federal technical assistance to States and local communities can ensure we develop shale gas the right way – and, at the same time, create stable communities with well-paying jobs.
• Boosting Utilization of Natural Gas in Transportation and Industry. In addition, the President announced specific ways to better focus on leveraging natural gas in manufacturing, transportation, and power generation – creating jobs, reducing costs, and reducing dependence on foreign oil. The Administration will help States and localities coordinate review of proposed private sector projects to invest in new energy-intensive U.S. manufacturing plants relying on natural gas. The Administration will also expand tax incentives to build fuel infrastructure and to replace oil with U.S.-produced natural gas in trucks and other transportation.
• Expanding Fuel Choices for American Drivers. While the United States will continue to rely on responsibly produced oil and natural gas, President Obama is committed to a long-term policy that allows us to transition to cleaner energy sources.
• Establishing an Energy Security Trust Fund to Fund R&D for Advanced Vehicle Technologies. In addition to urging Congress to repeal the $4 billion in subsidies that taxpayers provide the oil industry each year, the President has called on Congress to establish an Energy Security Trust and enact reforms to promote diligent oil and gas development on federal lands. The Energy Security Trust proposal has broad bipartisan support, including retired admirals, generals and leading CEOs, and focuses on shifting our cars and trucks off oil. This $2 billion investment in a range of cost-effective technologies – like advanced vehicles that run on electricity, homegrown biofuels, hydrogen, and domestically produced natural gas – will be drawn from revenues generated from federal oil and gas development. Establishing a dedicated source of funding will allow the Energy Department to maintain targeted and sustained investments that are catalytic and directly advance U.S. energy security.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.