Tales from the Trail

Obama sounds the alarm for clean energy

February 16, 2010

OBAMA/President Barack Obama sounded the alarm on Tuesday as he made his push for more nuclear power in the U.S. energy mix — literally.

He toured an electrical workers union training center in Maryland before announcing the multibillion-dollar plan. During the tour, he talked to workers being trained in computer-assisted design, examined power management technology and fire alarm systems.

“You can pull one if you want,” Rhett Roe, a union member who has been teaching since 1985, told the smiling president as they stood before a wall filled with bright red alarm boxes.

Obama did, and flashing lights and loud beeping ensued. “I need this whenever the press is around,” Obama joked, as a horn blared.

The alarm system was for training and did not summon the fire department. Obama alluded to his experience again before making his announcement, with a nod to an earlier incident that might not have ended so happily.

“I was just mentioning that I got a chance to pull the first fire alarm since I was in junior high.  And I didn’t get in trouble for it,” he said, to applause and laughter from the crowd.

Photo credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque  (Obama looks at fire alarm systems while touring a training center at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 26 Headquarters in Lanham, Maryland)

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