Skip to content

Obama: “American Energy Revolution” Underway

On Monday, President Obama said there’s “an American energy revolution” underway, expanded his push for greater renewable energy adoption, and announced fresh financial incentives for development and use of solar power. Speaking at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Obama said fossil fuel proponents who say renewable energy is too expensive are being proven wrong as solar and wind become cheaper.  “For decades, we’ve been told that it doesn’t make sense to switch to renewable energy,” he said.  “Today, that’s no longer true.”

The White House announced plans Monday to try to shift U.S. energy away from carbon-producing sources such as coal and toward renewables such as solar.  The plans, all taken as executive actions, include increased loan guarantees for renewable energy developers and help for homeowners with solar power installations.  Obama’s also giving solar science some cash: $24 million will go to 11 research projects that are working to make the technology cheaper and more efficient.  And he announced an additional $1 billion in loan guarantees for new research projects and savings for homeowners using renewable energy. 

Obama criticized fossil fuel companies who are lobbying against renewable energy claiming they support the “free market…unless it’s solar that people are buying, and suddenly you’re not for the free market anymore.”  The announcement and speech are part of his effort to push a broad plan that would limit carbon emissions from US power plants, mandating a shift to renewables from coal-fired electricity. 

Under the new rules, homeowners who adopt renewable energy will be able to do so with no cost upfront, and pay back the cost of installation over time through property taxes.  He also called on the Department of Energy to make an additional $1 billion out of an existing $10 billion now available for the loan guarantees.

Obama will leave on Aug. 31 for a four-day trip to Alaska to focus on the effects of a warming climate on the Arctic.