A Return to a Clean Energy Policy Agenda

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    Even though President Obama has made some courageous moves on the environmental front (most notably, his decision to delay the decision regarding the Keystone XL pipeline), clean energy has seemingly taken a back seat on the president’s agenda as election time moves closer to the present. With 80% of the U.S.’s energy consumption coming from fossil fuels, the U.S. stands poised to help reduce the international community’s carbon footprint with more aggressive moves towards clean energy. With an increasing worldwide energy demand, it has become more important than ever to move away from fossil fuel sources of energy towards cleaner forms.

    Unfortunately, clean energy is not an issue that gets many politicians cookie points. President Obama will continue to hammer away at themes of economic growth, job creation, and the like, giving little attention to clean energy until the next presidential election has passed. If this moves President Obama back into the White House for another four year term, one could argue that ignoring clean energy for the moment is an appropriate political route to take. What’s the alternative, Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich in the White House?  

    Nonetheless, President Obama has voiced his support for natural gas, a blow towards efforts at moving away from fossil fuel forms of energy. Why is this such a blow to clean energy? Among other reasons, it has been argued that refocusing on natural gas will inevitably strip support from clean energy policies and its accompanying initiatives. On the surface, anyways, this line of thought makes sense.

    But the major point is that the world is warming, China is spewing greenhouse gases like there’s no tomorrow, and the second largest energy consumer in the world (the U.S.) has the technology to shift in the direction of clean energy but has done so at a sluggish pace. India, Brazil, and Russia, notable for their greenhouse gas emissions as well, also seem unlikely to move towards clean energy in the near future.

    When President Obama is reelected, lets hope that clean energy returns to the top of his policy agenda.