During the recent State of the Union address, President Barack Obama talked up his “all of the above” energy strategy, and specifically mentioned natural gas and solar as sources the administration wants to promote.

“America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades,” Obama said.

Kevin McCray, CEO of the National Ground Water Association, had a few thoughts to add.

"One piece of an 'all-of-the-above' energy policy must be geothermal heat pump systems," he said. "Geothermal heat pump systems are a clean, renewable, thermal energy technology that creates thousands of U.S. jobs in the manufacturing, distribution, and installation sectors. They can be used effectively almost anywhere in the United States and are available 24/7 drawing on the thermal energy resources under our feet.”

A report submitted to Congress by GeoExchange in 2013 says geothermal heat pumps “claim less than 2 percent of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry marketplace.”

McCray thinks geothermal can claim a bigger part of that energy pie.

"Our NGWA members look forward to doing our part to help move our nation toward energy independence and a cleaner world," McCray added.

NGWA is a nonprofit that supports responsible development, management and use of water resources. It’s comprised of groundwater professionals ranging from contractors to equipment manufacturers to scientists and engineers. For more information, visit www.ngwa.org.