How's President Obama doing on his energy and efficiency promises?
The House’s passage of Waxman-Markey (aka the American Clean Energy and Security Act) isn’t just a step forward in moving the United States away from addiction to fossil fuels, and towards a cleaner energy economy; it’s also evidence that President Barack Obama plans to fight for many of the campaign promises he made on energy and the environment. Candidate Obama laid out a very ambitious and comprehensive approach to energy policy, recognizing that it’s intimately tied to environmental concerns and economic growth and development. Among the policies promoted by the Obama-Biden campaign:
- Tackling climate change through implementation of a cap-and-trade system, and making the US a leader on addressing global warming.
- Investing in clean energy and energy security (and creating 5 million jobs in the process.
- Promoting clean, efficient cars and trucks.
- Increasing our commitment to energy efficiency.
So, how’s President Obama doing on energy and efficiency?
In short, not bad. Numerous evaluations on the topic came out around the 100-day mark of his presidency, and most were positive. Dave Burdick of The Huffington Post said the president was off to a good start on securing his legacy as a “green president.” Joseph Romm, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, gave Obama an A+, and noted that historians may regard him as “the green FDR.”
The St. Petersburg Times‘ Politifact.com site keeps a running tally of promises made, and progress on those promises. Among those the president has kept on energy issues:
- Weatherizing 1 million low-income homes every year.
- Providing grants to encourage energy-efficient building codes.
- Enacting a consumer tax credit for plug-in hybrid cars.
Energy Efficiency: the cheapest, cleanest, fastest energy source
That’s how the Obama-Biden campaign described efficiency in a speech brief on energy policy. Clearly, President Obama is taking many right steps towards leveraging efficiency as a part of broader national energy policy.
Make sure that you let the President, and his Secretary of Energy Steven Chu, know that you approve of such measures, and want to see more. Join Earthjustice and Sundance’s THE UNITED STATES OF EFFICIENCY campaign, and add your name to a letter asking Secretary Chu to adopt “the strongest achievable efficiency standards” as a part of making the US more energy secure. We’re on the track… let’s not get off course!
Image credit: White House photographer Charles Watkins via Wikimedia Commons