renewable energy

San Diego is the largest city in the country to commit to using only renewable energy, a goal that political parties, environmentalists and business groups hope to meet over the next 20 years.

That's right. There is broad consensus to reach this environmentally ambitious plan.

"A thriving business environment is one in which the quality of life is high so that we can attract the best and brightest talent from around the nation [and] around the world," says Sean Karafin, with the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The wastewater treatment plant in Grand Junction, Colo., takes in 8 million gallons of raw sewage — what's flushed down the toilet and sinks.

Processing this sewage produces a lot of methane, which the plant used to just burn off into the air.

The process was "not good for the environment and a waste of a wonderful resource," says Dan Tonello, manager of the Persigo Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Now, using more infrastructure, the facility refines the methane further to produce natural gas chemically identical to what's drilled from underground.

President Obama's Friday news conference, which reporters were informed of the day earlier, was initially intended to give him a chance to respond to increasing Republican attacks on his energy policy.

With rising gas prices in recent weeks as the backdrop, Republicans have charged that his administration's restrictions on domestic oil production were keeping gas prices higher than they'd be otherwise.

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, host:

This week, President Obama ended a ban on oil and gas drilling along some parts of the U.S. Atlantic coast and northern Alaska. The president's decision has staggered some of his own environmental supporters, but others say the decision is necessary to help decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil or win bipartisan support for an energy and climate change bill.