Press Conference with Vice President Biden
April 22, 2009
Governor O'Malley: Thank you very, very much. Thank you all very much. It is great to be with you in gorgeous Prince George's County. And I want to thank -- I consider myself very blessed in many ways, not only because of my family and my friends, but my fellow citizens, and also as Governor, no Governor could hope to have a stronger Congressional delegation than I have, than you have, in Maryland.
To have people like Ben Cardin and Donna Edwards leading the charge and backing up this new Obama-Biden administration really makes you feel good, makes you feel like there are better days coming.
I wanted to acknowledge the elected officials who are with us today, beginning with -- Mr. Vice President, with all due respect, the highest title in American politics and that is Mayor. I want to thank Mayor Andy Hanko of New Carrollton for allowing us to be here today. (Applause.)
And I'll ask you, if you would, to just hold your applause so we can keep the Vice President on his schedule, until we announce all of the folks here.
Delegate Michael Vaughn, if you'd raise your hand. Delegate John Bohannon, Mayor Adam Ortiz, Councilwoman Andrea Harrison from the County Council, Councilman Eric Olson, also of the County Council, Terrence Taylor representing Congressman Hoyer, Joe Huntabasadeke representing Senator Barbara Mikulski, Lynta Giddens, Councilmember from Edmonston.
And thank you all very, very much for being here. (Applause.)
Vice President Biden, we welcome you back to Maryland. Maryland is certainly a place where I hope you feel at home, having passed this very station over 7,000 times in the course of Lord knows how many commutes on Amtrak. But we are proud of you, native son of Delmarva and our Vice President.
And we thank you so much for what you and President Obama have done to pass the stimulus dollars, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Half of our projects have already been approved. I think we were the first State, thanks to John Piccarri's able administration, to have our projects approved.
And, Mr. Vice President, before you are the men and women that make it all happen. They represent the highly skilled, highly trained, committed diverse hands of Maryland, who believe in a better tomorrow and believe that through our own work and belief in one another we can make it happen.
In Maryland we believe in being leaders. That's always been our tradition as a people. You know, there is a hope that's common to a better economy and a better environment and that hope is opportunity.
The opportunity for more generations to enjoy the beauty of God's creation, this earth, but also our hope today to be able to put food on our tables, be able to raise our kids and provide for them.
And it is that opportunity that we see in this new green revolution. Marylanders were at the forefront of the American Revolution, we're at the forefront of the green revolution, passing clean cars legislation, Mr. Vice President, as a leader on that, the first cap and trade successful auction for greenhouse gas emissions, the Empower Maryland goal of reducing energy consumption by 15 percent by 2015. Also, our renewable portfolio standards up to 20 percent.
And we also have a goal of converting, Mr. Vice President, our entire bus fleet to hybrid, or alternative fuel, vehicles by 2014, the bicentennial of the Star Spangled Banner. Behind you, Mr. Vice President, is one of those buses. And it is thanks to the hard work and the leadership of President Obama and Vice President Biden that Maryland was able to purchase all of these green vehicles for our bus fleet. And we thank you for that, Mr. Vice President. (Applause.)
You're making a real difference. President Obama and you are making a real difference for real people, real progress for real people for a better future.
Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great honor to introduce now a man who is providing, again with President Obama, American leadership for a cleaner environment for all and greater opportunity for all.
Delmarva's favorite son, our Vice President of the United States, Vice President Joe Biden. (Applause.)
Vice President Biden: Thank you. Folks, thank you very much. Thank you so much.
Mr. Mayor, thanks for the passport into town, I appreciate it. And, folks, you know, this -- what I'm about to say is going to sound to the press maybe like a mutual administration society.
But I don't know a State -- I don't know a single State -- and I know almost every one pretty well -- I don't know a State that has as competent, as hardworking, as quality, as innovative representation as you have.
This guy here is the real deal. To put it another way, my mother, Jean Finnegan Biden, who is 92, said, "I love that boy, I love that boy." (Laughter.) And she lives in Delaware, she lives in Delaware.
But the truth of the matter is, Gov', you have led the way, of all Governors in America. Where other states have claimed -- and are working very hard, to their credit -- wanting to become the green state, there are states who want to become the state that produces the first ability to provide hydrogen vehicles. There are other states that are working very hard and they're doing very well in renewable energy -- wind and solar and the rest.
But I don't know any Governor who has combined the entire plate out there -- from all the options, from cap and trade straight through to committing that every single vehicle that the State provides for a bus will be green within the next several years.