20100203 obama 18
President Obama speaks during a meeting with a bipartisan group of governors to discuss energy policy in the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. - 


Kai Ryssdal: The politics of energy were front and center at the White House today. President Obama met with 11 governors, many of them from coal-producing states, trying to get them to sign on to his energy policies and shift away from fossil fuels.

Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, it's not going so well.

SARAH GARDNER: Obama wants the country to use less oil and coal and more alternative energy. So, he's pushing hard for tax credits for solar and wind and loan guarantees for nuclear. He also wants Congress to repeal billions in subsidies for oil, gas and coal.

Coal state lawmakers are already decrying the proposed changes as a jobs-killer. Oil and gas companies are casting them as a new tax.

Rayola Dougher is with the American Petroleum Institute.

RAYOLA DOUGHER: It really will translate into less investment, fewer jobs, and especially fewer American jobs. And we think that's exactly the wrong way to go.

Obama hopes to win farm state support for his energy proposals by shoring up biofuels. Today he announced a new plan aimed at boosting biofuel production.

Matt Hartwig is at the Renewable Fuels Association.

MATT HARTWIG: The ultimate goal of the renewable fuel standard is in the year 2022 that the United States is using 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel.

Currently the U.S. produces only a third of that. Some environmentalists criticized today's biofuels announcement. They say the EPA underestimates the global warming emissions from corn ethanol.

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

Follow Sarah Gardner at @RadioGardner