Obama blueprint for a US economy “built to last” includes “all-of-the-above” energy strategy; call for 80% of US electricity from clean sources by 2035
25 January 2012
President Obama used his last State-of-the-Union (SOTU) address of his term to outline four main elements of a blueprint for an “economy that’s built to last: an economy built on American manufacturing, American energy, skills for American workers, and a renewal of American values.”.
Echoing the “all-in” energy strategy recommended by the 2011 year-end report from the President’s Jobs Council (earlier post), the President called for an “all-out, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of American energy. A strategy that’s cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs.” Subsequent to the SOTU address, the White House issued a “Blueprint for an America Built to Last” as an outline of the points the President made in his speech.
And nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy. Over the last three years, we’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration, and tonight, I’m directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources. Right now—right now—American oil production is the highest that it’s been in eight years. That’s right—eight years. Not only that—last year, we relied less on foreign oil than in any of the past 16 years. But with only 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, oil isn’t enough.—President Obama
The “American Energy” segment comprised three primary elements:
Promote safe, responsible development of the near 100-year supply of natural gas while ensuring public health and safety. The President directed the Administration to ensure safe shale gas development that will include moving forward with new rules to require disclosure of the chemicals used in fracking operations on public lands.
Incentivize manufacturers to make energy upgrades, saving $100 billion over the next decade. The President announced a new proposal to increase the energy efficiency of the industrial sector by providing new incentives and breaking down regulatory barriers for manufacturers to upgrade equipment and eliminate wasted energy in their facilities, saving $100 billion from the nation’s energy bills.
Create clean energy jobs in the United States.: The President called on Congress to build on the positioning of America to be the world’s leading manufacturer in high-tech batteries and reiterated his call for action on clean energy tax credits and a national goal of moving toward clean sources of electricity by setting a standard for utility companies, so that by 2035, 80% of the nation’s electricity will come from clean sources, including renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and hydropower; nuclear power; efficient natural gas; and lower emission coal.
( According to the recently release Annual Energy Outlook 2012 by the US Energy Information Administration, in 2010 US electricity generation was 70% fossil fuels, 20% nuclear, and 10% renewable. The EIA’s Reference case for 2035 projects 66% fossil (coal and natural gas), 18% nuclear and 16% from renewables.)
The President also announced that the Department of the Navy will make the largest renewable energy purchase in history: 1GW. In addition, the President is directing the Department of Interior to permit 10 gigawatts of renewables projects by the end of the year, enough to power three million homes.
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