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President Obama Calls for Greater Renewable Energy Use

The new president’s plan has renewable energy supplying 10 percent of the nation's electricity by 2012, and calls for $150 billion to develop a clean energy future.

| Jan. 21 2009

President Barack Obama was sworn in yesterday, and his inaugural address called for the expanded use of renewable energy to meet the twin challenges of energy security and climate change.

Noting that "each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet," President Obama looked to the near future, saying the United States will "harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories." Those were the first references ever to our nation's energy use, to renewable resources and to climate change in an inauguration speech of a U.S. president. President Obama later circled back to the subject of climate change, proclaiming that "with old friends and former foes, we will work tirelessly to...roll back the specter of a warming planet."

As the president was being sworn in, the newly revised White House website went live, and it prominently features President Obama's agenda for energy and the environment. The president's New Energy for America plan calls for a federal investment of $150 billion throughout the next decade to catalyze private efforts to build a clean energy future. Specifically, the plan calls for renewable energy to supply 10 percent of the nation's electricity by 2012, rising to 25 percent by 2025. The plan also calls for deploying energy efficiency, including the weatherization of 1 million homes each year. It also calls for an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to achieve an 80-percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. And to help meet that goal, the plan sets a target of placing 1 million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015, along with a national standard to reduce the carbon emissions from our motor fuels. To help meet the plug-in hybrid goal, the plan calls for a new $7,000 tax credit for those who purchase advanced vehicles.

The Senate also acted swiftly following the inauguration. In a brief session, the senators confirmed the nominations of Steven Chu as secretary of energy, Tom Vilsack as secretary of agriculture, and Ken Salazar as secretary of the interior. Salazar noted the importance of federal lands to energy production, promising to help build a clean energy economy for the 21st century. He also called President Obama's energy imperative "our moon shot" for energy independence.

Royce Vines
4/14/2009 6:33:19 AM

If Mr. Obama (and all the greenies) were serious about reducing the production of CO2, surely they would have a serious look at Project Argonne (the IFR) which was discontinued by Clinton as a sop to the greenies. No CO2, no Uranium mining and reduce the existing radioactive waste. There is enough existing fuel for about 200 years. But why reduce CO2? A rise in CO2 actually FOLLOWS a "warming event" by 600 to 1000 years, it doesn't cause it! The changing climate is a natural occurrence, in fact, the Earth is now in a cooling cycle. but you cannot tell that to the quasi religious GW zealots. They refuse to listen to or even discover FACTS! All I ask is don't mess with my life! RRV

1/25/2009 7:54:58 AM

I really love the start Obama is making, I just think it may take much more money and has to be watched very carefully. By distributing funds to the end users in many cases rather than large corporations that waste billions on overpaid executives.The only true economy is trickle up, not trickle down. The little guy pays most of the taxes and buys most of the products sold.We built this country with blood, sweat and tears while the rich were on vacation with profits made from our work and the help of our government funds.I really think it will take more than tax breaks it will take actual government loans.The money we save on energy will repay the loans and increase our buying power.We have a great new team working on this,it is about much more than energy, it is about the health of all of us,the earth,our security and our economy all rolled into this one package.

1/25/2009 7:31:19 AM

IMO this should have been done years ago. I hope we can use some of this to make each home a net power producer and cut out some of the electric company's profits as well. Every dollar a lower income person can save on electricity and gas will help the economy as well as our standard of living. I believe there should be direct government loans to home and building owners to install solar and wind, that every new building should meet very tough standards for energy efficiency and have some sort of energy generation.I think that every interstate that has regular traffic should have vertical wind turbines lining them to use all the high speed air that comes from the vehicles, this is a huge reservoir of energy and capturing it is very low tech, just some vanes and a generator. We can create many more jobs than they are predicting and make the switch much faster. This is too urgent to be splitting profits with banks and utility companies, energy independence is as much a part of national security as planes and missiles.It should work now that we have a president that is not a pawn of the energy companies and Monsanto. While we are at it we need to make the switch to energy efficient organic farms as well. Everyone says that organic cost more to produce, but it is just not so if done right and on smaller farms. We get better food that does not use fuel to transport it all over the world,can be grown with much less water and each farm can be very efficient. Compost raised foods should help lower some of our medical bills as well. It is time for the world to slow down a little and get this country closer to a farm based economy where small farmers raise healthy food on healthy land and make enough money to add to the economy by purchasing goods rather than paying interest to bankers.We can have a manufacturing/farm/service economy that will help clean up the earth at the same time.

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