One of my strongest hopes for what President Barack Obama will introduce in tonight’s State of the Union address – a renewed commitment to the green jobs agenda – is highly unlikely to even receive lip service when he steps onto the House floor.

Green jobs became the Achilles’ heel of Obama’s 2012 re-election effort after his first term’s closest brush with scandal. The controversy over the administration’s decision to tout green tech startup Solyndra hit rock bottom and became the center of conservative calls for firings by the time election season arrived.

But the public endorsement of private sustainable enterprise is crucial for the nation’s economic development. Obama should prove the Solyndra mess did not terrify him as much as his advisers and reintroduce the nation to this crucial conversation. 

Ryan Rainey ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in journalism and Latin American studies.