Remarks At The Simeprode/Benlesa Biogas Plant

Hillary Rodham Clinton
Secretary of State
Monterrey, Mexico
March 26, 2009

SECRETARY CLINTON: Thank you very much for the honor of participating in this occasion. And I appreciate the very informative remarks that the governor just gave us. I know very well that we are witnessing here a partnership for the future. This is a partnership of people, of institutions, of the private sector and the government all working together.


I want to acknowledge some of the people who have made this possible. Mr. Jorge Padilla, the president of Simeprode; Nora Calderon, the private partner from Benlesa; of course, the foreign secretary, Secretary Espinosa; the Ambassador from Mexico to the United States, Ambassador Sarukhan; the governor who just spoke so effectively about what it is we are trying to achieve together; and of course, the representatives of the university who have demonstrated by their signing today that they are part of building this common future. And it gives me particular pleasure to see this cooperation between three great universities here in Mexico and the University of Texas at Austin.


This partnership is an effort to find solutions to an urgent 21st century challenge. And this memorandum of understanding expands an already strong effort underway to bring together the best talent, ideas and research available on both sides of our border. Addressing climate change and clean energy is not only a building block of economic recovery; I believe and President Obama believes that this will be an engine of economic growth for the 21st century.


Yesterday in my meetings in Mexico City with President Calderon, with the foreign secretary, and with other members of the government, we talked at length about a competitiveness agenda that both of our nations can pursue. This would be a collaboration on a range of issues, and none would be more important than clean energy. That is how we will create the jobs of the 21st century, not only through biogas, which is what you do here, but across the spectrum of clean energy from solar to wind to ethanol to geothermal power.


This will advance our mutual goal of expanding renewable energy and reducing carbon-based emissions. It is also a form of security. We have spoken a lot in the last two days about security. And of course, we know we’re talking about the threat from lawlessness and violence when we say security. But energy security is also important. Being self-sufficient insofar as possible, creating energy from the earth, ensuring it is green energy is something that both of our countries are committed to achieving. Right here, we see clean energy being created from solid waste, clean energy that powers street lights and offices, that powers the metro rail and so much else.


This goes beyond anything we have in the United States, Governor. And this partnership that you have created here between the public and the private sector is a model that we and others will look towards. Mexico’s goal for emission reduction and for meeting a sizeable portion of your electricity needs through renewable energy is another model of how nations can move toward a low-carbon energy future, clean energy jobs as well.


In our own country, the Obama Administration is working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and we are calling on the Congress to help create a cap-and-trade program. The United States, under President Obama’s leadership, will work with Mexico under President Calderon’s leadership to build consensus as we move toward the United Nations Conference on Climate this December in Copenhagen.


Yesterday, President Obama sent a letter to President Calderon inviting him to participate in a major economies forum to pave the way to Copenhagen so we can have the greatest possible success there. These negotiations provide a crucial opportunity to create a global framework. And when those meetings are held, Mexico will be a leader because of the steps you have already taken and the commitment that your government has made. And there’s no better example than the plant we are seeing in action here today.


We believe that Mexico and the United States not only face common challenges, but also common opportunities. And we think by working together, we can achieve a cleaner, healthier planet for successive generations, and build a green economy that will create millions of new jobs for the 21st century. So I am here to witness and pay tribute, to really celebrate what has already happened in this state. And the results are going to be noticed far and wide.


This is an advanced, state-of-the-art plant. We do not have anything like it in the United States. I know that this is not the kind of event that gets headlines, but this is what should get headlines in America and Mexico. The Mexican people and municipal government should be looking and saying, how can we do what was done in Monterrey. And the United States should be looking and saying, what can we do to try to achieve the same level of production of electricity from solid waste. That’s how we will learn from one another. We will borrow ideas, we will cooperate through our great universities, through our local governments, our national governments, our private businesses. That is the way of the future.


You know, there are many problems we have to solve and we will be stronger in solving them if we do it together. So I am delighted to be here to have the opportunity to witness this along with the governor and the foreign secretary. But also I want to pay tribute to the people who made this happen and the people who work here and keep it going and produce this clean electricity. That’s what we want to see all over Mexico and all over the United States. Thank you all very much. (Applause.)

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PRN: 2009/T3-8