President Obama Speaks on Clean Energy Today at MIT; Here’s How to Watch

[Update, 12:05 p.m., 10/23/09: The time for President Obama’s speech has been pushed back to 12:25 p.m., according to the White House. It appears that MIT’s video servers are being overwhelmed by traffic; if you want to watch the speech online, we recommend trying the White House’s own live video stream.]

When Air Force One touches down at Logan Airport at 11:30 a.m. today, there will already be a small crowd of students, faculty members, and local technology leaders waiting inside MIT’s Kresge Auditorium for President Barack Obama to arrive.

In his noontime speech at Kresge, announced just three days ago, Mr. Obama is expected to call for stronger U.S. leadership on clean energy research and press for passage of the Senate energy bill, S. 1733, co-sponsored by Massachusetts Senator John Kerry and California Senator Barbara Boxer.

Invitations to the MIT speech are the most coveted tickets in town today. While Kresge seats some 1,300 people, only about 60 students and 40 faculty members have been invited, according to estimates by The Tech, MIT’s student newspaper. The White House has also issued invitations to a hand-picked group of local leaders in energy entrepreneurship and investing.

The President will meet briefly before the speech with a select group of MIT energy researchers, according to the MIT News Office.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick will be on stage with the President, who is expected to attend a campaign fundraising luncheon for the governor at the Westin Copley Hotel in Boston before returning to Washington. In a video published on his campaign website this week, Governor Patrick said, “In many ways our agenda here in Massachusetts is very closely aligned with the agenda of the Obama Administration.” He included a reference to “our work to expand innovation industries that will create the opportunities for tomorrow, like IT and clean energy and biotech.”

If you weren’t one of the lucky few who won an invitation to attend the President’s speech in person, here are a few ways you can follow his visit:

—MIT will share a live webcast of the speech at

—The White House will also offer a live video stream at, and CNN says it will stream the event live.

—If you can make it to Cambridge, MIT will be showing a closed-circuit broadcast of the speech in various rooms around campus (4-237, 1-190, 26-100, 32-141, 32-155, and E51-315) as well as the MIT Museum.

—Xconomy has recruited a posse of local students, investors, and technology leaders who scored tickets to the speech to write to us with their impressions of the event, and we’ll be compiling their contributions in a post early this afternoon.

—Organizers of the Fifth Conference on Clean Energy, to be held in Boston November 12-13, will be sharing real-time posts about the speech on Twitter using the hash tag #CCE-2009.

—Finally, MIT will post a recording of the speech late this afternoon on its video portal site, MIT World.

According to the MIT News Office, today’s visit marks only the second time a sitting U.S. president has visited MIT. President Bill Clinton was MIT’s commencement speaker in 1998.

Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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One response to “President Obama Speaks on Clean Energy Today at MIT; Here’s How to Watch”

  1. wulfmankarl says:

    Funny – Dead Economist Adam Smith Rants About Obama’s Energy Speech at MIT