“Our Sputnik moment.” This is how President Obama described America’s opportunity to invest in clean energy in his second official State of the Union address last night — and specifically for 80% of U.S. energy from clean sources by 2035. Such a clean energy standard would include renewable sources like wind, solar, biofuels, hydro and geothermal, and low-carbon sources like natural gas, nuclear, and coal with carbon capture and sequestration. He also mentioned increasing investment in research and development to ensure that America becomes a clean energy world leader and to make the United States the first country to put one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. He proposed paying for this additional research by ending approximately $4 billion in government subsidies for oil, gas, and other fossil fuels.
Leaked 2012 budget numbers show that the President plans on increasing overall funding for clean energy technologies by 33%. In last night’s address, Obama stated that he wants to double the number of Energy Innovation Hubs (from three to six), double energy efficiency investment, expand the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program (ARPA-E), and increase investment in renewable energy by 85%.
By focusing on “winning the future,” President Obama set the United States on a course towards a cleaner energy future – one that takes an “all of the above” approach with respect to energy use. This will decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil while simultaneously decreasing dangerous greenhouse gas emissions, both of which are founding principles of the Energy Future Coalition.
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