How Will Obama Address the Environment and Green Energy?
The economy clearly took center stage among all of the issues that defined the 2012 presidential campaign. Although the environment and renewable energy are closely tied to the economy, concerns like global warming and green energy spent very little time in the campaign spotlight and only showed up on a few ballots across the country. Now that the election is over and President Obama has retained his post in the White House, where does that put the issue of green energy on his administration’s “To Do” list?
Following his victory in 2008, Barak Obama came out of the gate calling for growth in clean energy by proposing policies on climate change and advocating the investment in renewable energy. He initially put together a plan for energy policies called his “Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future.” Some of the ways that he planned to accomplish this was to push for the increase of energy efficiency in homes across the country, elevate automobile fuel economy standards, expand domestic oil and gas production, and reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil. This showed that pursuing alternative energy sources (wind, solar, hydro, and geothermal energy) was on his agenda.
We won’t completely eliminate the need for oil and gas, but there is progress in our efforts to use less—particularly on consumer cars. A recent report on automobile production cited that vehicles sold in October, 2012 boasted a fuel economy of 24.1 miles per gallon. This rating is up from 23 miles per gallon during the same month the previous year and up from 22.3 during the same month in 2010.
Since October 2009, over one million homes have enjoyed significant savings in heating and air costs through a heating and cooling system upgrade program implemented by the Department of Energy. In addition, Obama has pushed for cleaner energy by financing wind farms, solar farms, and refineries for biofuels. He also revitalized the use of wind turbines that were sitting dormant.
According to some of his comments during the 2012 presidential debates, he plans to continue investing in clean energy over the use of fossil fuels and especially over the need for foreign oil. If he continues along this path, we will likely see more progress in our efforts for green energy. One of the ways President Obama invested in green energy was through tax credits for companies who implemented wind and solar energy sources. Upon his re-election in 2012, Obama plans to urge Congress to renew the solar and wind power tax credit (that could end in 2016). This will continue to further his agenda for renewable energy and ultimately preserve 27,000 jobs in the wind energy industry.