Energy & Environment
“So we have a choice to make. We can remain one of the world’s leading importers of foreign oil, or we can make the investments that would allow us to become the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy. We can let climate change continue to go unchecked, or we can help stop it. We can let the jobs of tomorrow be created abroad, or we can create those jobs right here in America and lay the foundation for lasting prosperity.”
-President Obama, March 19, 2009
- The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included more than $60 billion in clean energy investments that will jump-start our economy and build the clean energy jobs of tomorrow:
- $11 billion for a bigger, better, and smarter grid that will move renewable energy from the rural places it is produced to the cities where it is mostly used, as well as for 40 million smart meters to be deployed in American homes.
- $5 billion for low-income home weatherization projects.
- $4.5 billion to green federal buildings and cut our energy bill, saving taxpayers billions of dollars.
- $6.3 billion for state and local renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts.
- $600 million in green job training programs – $100 million to expand line worker training programs and $500 million for green workforce training.
- $2 billion in competitive grants to develop the next generation of batteries to store energy.
- Increasing, for the first time in more than a decade, the fuel economy standards for Model Year 2011 for cars and trucks so they will get better mileage, saving drivers money and spurring companies to develop more innovative products.
- The President issued a memorandum to the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances, like dishwashers and refrigerators. Through this step, over the next three decades, we’ll save twice the amount of energy produced by all the coal-fired power plants in America in any given year.
- Supporting the first steps of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide.
- On Earth Day 2009, the President unveiled a program to develop the renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf that produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents. These regulations will enable, for the first time ever, the nation to tap into our ocean’s vast sustainable resources to generate clean energy in an environmentally sound and safe manner.
To take this country in a new direction, the President is working with Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to protect our nation from the serious economic and strategic risks associated with our reliance on foreign oil and the destabilizing effects of a changing climate. Policies to advance energy and climate security should promote economic recovery efforts, accelerate job creation, and drive clean energy manufacturing by:
Investing in the Clean Energy Jobs of the Future
President Obama does not accept a future in which the jobs and industries of tomorrow take root beyond our borders. It is time for the United States to lead again. Under President Obama, we will lead again, by developing an American clean energy industry, a 21st century economy that flourishes within our borders.
- Creating new Jobs in the Clean Energy Economy. Drive the development of new, green jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced.
- Investing in the Next Generation of Energy Technologies. Invest $150 billion over ten years in energy research and development to transition to a clean energy economy.
Securing our Energy Future
Our reliance on oil poses a threat to our economic security. Over the last few decades, we have watched our economy rise and fall along with the price of a barrel of oil. We must commit ourselves to an economic future in which the strength of our economy is not tied to the unpredictability of oil markets. We must make the investments in clean energy sources that will curb our dependence on fossil fuels and make America energy independent.
- Breaking Dependence on Oil. Promote the next generation of cars and trucks and the fuels they run on.
- Producing More Energy at Home. Enhance U.S. energy supplies through responsible development of domestic renewable energy, fossil fuels, advanced biofuels and nuclear energy.
- Promoting Energy Efficiency. Promote investments in the transportation, electricity, industrial, building and agricultural sectors that reduce energy bills.
Closing the Carbon Loophole and Cracking Down on Polluters
We must take immediate action to reduce the carbon pollution that threatens our climate and sustains our dependence on fossil fuels. We have had limits in place on pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide, and other harmful emissions for some time. After decades of inaction, we will finally close the carbon pollution loophole by limiting the amount of carbon polluters are allowed to pump into the atmosphere.
- Closing the Carbon Loophole. By stemming carbon pollution through a market-based cap, we can address in a systematic way all the energy challenges that we face: curbing our dependence on foreign oil, reducing our use of fossil fuels, and promoting new industries right here in America.
- Protecting American Consumers. Revenues generated by closing the carbon loophole will be returned to the people, especially vulnerable families, communities, and businesses.
- Promoting U.S. Competitiveness. Ensure a level playing field for domestic manufacturing and secure significant actions to combat climate change by our trading partners.