Our President and his Environmental Policies
“So the question now is whether we will have the courage to act before it is too late…As a president, as a father and as an American, I am here to say we need to act” were the words of our President during his major climate speech on June 25, 2013 in the University of Georgetown. During his speech, President Obama emphasized that we need to start taking action and do something about the climate changes that our planet is experiencing.
President Obama’s administration has been really committed to do something about the environment and despite the critics and the difficulties that he is comforting from the opposite party, President Obama has continually done a lot for the environment. Michael Grunwald on his article about New Energy in the Time magazine says “Obama has done more to reduce emission than anybody else in history, but his critics on the right and on the left haven’t noticed it” (22).
President Obama has announced during his speech on June 25 the actions that he will take to reduce the climate changes that are affecting our planet. So far the president has worked to make this subject a national priority, and he sees it as a great source for job creation which will help our economy. Since he became President in 2009 and even before during his presidential campaign, President Obama promised to take the subject of climate change seriously and he talked about doing changes on the automobile industry by making more energy efficient vehicles.
He also discussed the idea to invest more on alternative clean energy by building wind and solar plants, and he also promised to make a bill for higher fuel efficient standards that will reduce carbon emissions. Grunwald states that during his first term as President, “Obama was able to start 45 renewable-electricity projects…, enough to power 4. 4 million homes…, he was able to slash the government’s carbon emission by 15%, jack up vehicle efficiency standards enough to eliminate an entire year’s worth of U. S emissions by 2025 and enact appliance-efficiency standards that would save enough electricity to power every single home for two years” (22).
Obama was not only able to lay the groundwork for a new green energy economy, but he also attempted to double the amount of renewable energy sources. William Pentland explains in his online article in the Forbes magazine why renewable energy is the “big deal”: In 2012, the President set a goal to issue permits for 10 gigawatts of renewables on public lands by the end of the year.
The Department of the Interior achieved this goal ahead of schedule and the President has directed it to permit an additional 10 gigawatts by 2020. Since 2009, the Department of Interior has approved 25 utility-scale solar facilities, nine wind farms, and 11 geothermal plants . . . Also, the Department of Defense – the single largest consumer of energy in the United States – is committed to deploying 3 gigawatts of renewable energy on military installations, including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal, by 2025.
In addition, federal agencies are setting a new goal of reaching 100 megawatts of installed renewable capacity across the federally subsidized housing stock by 2020. President Obama’s plan involves new and existing power plants, and the idea of using more clean energy such as renewables and natural gas which not only will reduced the emission of carbon dioxide but also it will continue supporting our economy by creating more jobs.
According to the Energy Information Administration, “forty percent of US carbon dioxide emissions and one third of greenhouses gases…come from electric power plants” and for these reason the President Obama’s administration has proposed to take control over new plants (Mlive). President Obama has also ordered federal transportation official to create new federal rules requesting automakers to build more fuel-efficient cars, and he has also suggested to make a law requiring cars and light trucks manufactured in the US to get 54. miles per gallon by 2025.
He has not only provided tax credit to those who buy hybrid automobiles or electric ones, but he implemented he cash for clunker program with the intention to trade a less fuel-efficient vehicle to a new and more fuel-efficient ones. This program not only provided an incentive to a higher fuel efficient standards but also it provided a stimulus to the economy by pushing auto sales. President Obamas has shown his efforts and his truly interest to the environment and the climate changes.
He is looking in to do changes before it is too late and for the reason his speech on June 25 it was important because not only he was able to talk about what he has done but also he was able to explain his future actions that will not require help from the Congress. One of Obama’s goal is to prepare communities to the effects of climate changes, preparing cities and states for flooding and higher temperatures.
The Associated Press mentions that “the White House is looking the President’s efforts as part of a broader, global movement, and Obama could play a leading role in persuading other nations to join in efforts to slow the warming of the planet” (Mlive). President Obama interests of doing some changes have been from the beginning of his administration and he mentioned on his climate speech on June 25: “…– the year that I took office, my administration pledged to reduce America’s greenhouse gas emissions by about 17 percent from their 2005 levels by the end of this decade.
And we rolled up our sleeves and we got to work. We doubled the electricity we generated from wind and the sun. We doubled the mileage our cars will get on a gallon of gas by the middle of the next decade. Here at Georgetown, I unveiled my strategy for a secure energy future. And thanks to the ingenuity of our businesses, we’re starting to produce much more of our own energy. We’re building the first nuclear power plants in more than three decades — in Georgia and South Carolina. For the first time in 18 years, America is poised to produce more of our own oil than we buy from other nations.
And today, we produce more natural gas than anybody else. So we’re producing energy. And these advances have grown our economy, they’ve created new jobs, they can’t be shipped overseas — and, by the way, they’ve also helped drive our carbon pollution to its lowest levels in nearly 20 years. Since 2006, no country on Earth has reduced its total carbon pollution by as much as the United States of America. ” I agree with Grunwald when he say that President Obama is probably the only one who has done more for our environment, and this gives us a hope for a better green future.
President Obamas has been criticized by the opposition, and he is going to continue being criticized. He will also continue having a hard time trying to get support from the Congress, but his determination and continues focus on the subject will make changes in the future about the situation of our environment. So now it is time not only for Americans, but also for the world to start doing something about our environment. Climate changes are happening and we are the ones who will continue paying the consequences of them, so we need to act now.