Entries in Clean Energy (2)


Obama Touts Green Energy, Strips Funding

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- While President Obama has touted his deep commitment to a clean energy industry, the administration has quietly drained more than half of the $6 billion allocated to a key renewable energy program and senior White House officials have proposed either fixing or scrapping one of the president's most widely heralded initiatives involving solar and wind power.

An internal White House memo sent to the president from key advisors on Oct. 25, obtained by ABC News, outlines the shortcomings of the administration's renewable loan guarantee program, which was to set aside millions of taxpayer dollars to backstop private efforts to build robust power plants that rely on solar, wind, and other renewable resources.

The memo was drafted by Obama's top environmental advisor, Carol Browner, top economic advisor Lawrence Summers and the chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, Ron Klain. It acknowledges what some environmental and congressional leaders have quietly complained about for months -- that the loan program has moved too slowly to approve projects and now is in trouble.

The program faces "near term risks," it says, and the senior advisers offer four options for addressing the problem. Among them is a plan to eliminate the initiative by folding the money into a different energy grant program. Obama's advisors bluntly concede in the memo that canceling the program would likely enrage environmental groups and anger key Democrats in Congress. "The White House will bear this criticism," it says.

Just three weeks before the memo landed on Obama's desk, the president used his weekly radio address to tout his commitment to the clean energy sector, saying "our future as a nation" depends on it. Obama used the occasion to criticize Republicans for "promising to scrap all the incentives for clean energy projects, including those currently underway, even with all the jobs and potential that they hold."

"To go backwards and scrap these plans means handing the competitive advantage to China and other nations," he said. "It means that we'll grow even more dependent on foreign oil, and in a time of economic hardship, it means forgoing jobs we desperately need."

The White House released a statement Wednesday saying the president remains committed to the program "and the role it plays in helping us bring about a clean energy economy and creating jobs in this burgeoning industry."

In the statement, Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said the memo was intended to "tee up a wide array of options and issues for consideration." He said the president is planning to take steps to help streamline the process "while still protecting taxpayers who, ultimately, are the ones investing in these projects."

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio


California Voters Choose Clean Energy as a Pathway to Job Growth

Photo Courtesy - PRNewsFoto | Environmental Defense(SACRAMENTO) -- California voters proved they want clean-energy jobs Tuesday with the defeat of Prop 23, the industry-backed measure that would have suspended implementation of California's global warming law. 

The Environmental Defense Fund joined businesses and environmental activists in celebrating the victory. 

Prop 23 supporters claimed the growth of clean-energy industries would cost American jobs, but California voters rejected that claim and embraced the potential for clean-energy markets to boost economic growth.  It's expected that by the end of the next decade, the clean-energy market will be the world's third-largest industrial sector.  With China investing millions of dollars daily in its energy endeavors, the country is now considered the world's "clean-energy powerhouse."

California's global warming law is the most forward-thinking energy law in America.

"If America follows California's lead, it can be one of the biggest winners in this growing, multi-billion-dollar economy," said EDF California Climate Initiative director Derek Walker.

Walker added that the global warming law is an opportunity that must be seized for the good of the nation's economic and environmental future.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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