In perhaps his strongest wording to support and promote solar power, clean energy and energy efficiency since announcing the recovery act and his first State of the Union address President Barack Obama (D) announced today (May 9) new steps toward moving the nation forward on clean energy and reducing pollution. Obama made his comments at an energy-efficient solar-powered Walmart store in Mountain View, Calif.
Obama was in part emboldened by the findings of the National Climate Assessment, which was released earlier this week. “What they found was that unequivocally was that climate change is not some far off problem in the future. It’s happening now. It’s causing hardship now,” he said.
As tornado, forest-fire and drought season gets underway the President stated that climate change is affecting businesses, homeowners and the economy already and that most outside of Washington understand it. “Unfortunately inside of Washington we still have got some climate deniers who shout loud. But they’re wasting time on a settled debate. Climate change is a fact.” He later added: “We need to adapt our economy to climate change.”
Being energy efficient and using clean energy also has benefits. It saves businesses money. “That’s what Walmart understands and Walmart is pretty good at counting its pennies,” Obama said. He noted that Walmart plans to use or purchase 7 billion kilowatts hours of clean energy—much of it on its buildings in the U.S.—by 2020 and it will save the company $1 billion a year in energy costs.
Obama touted the success of the Better Buildings Initiative. “Making buildings more energy efficient is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to create jobs, save money and cut down on harmful pollution that causes climate change,” he said. “We can save our businesses tens of billions of dollars a year on their energy bills. They can use that money to grow and hire more folks.”
The DOE will expand on those programs, he said. “The DOE is putting in new efficiency standards in place that could save businesses billions of dollars in energy costs and cut carbon pollution. It’s the equivalent of taking about 80 million cars off the road.”
Already more than 190 businesses and organization signed on to the initiative to curb their energy use by 20 percent by 2020. “Together they’ve already saved $300 million in energy costs. We know it works,” Obama said. He added that he had been talking with business leaders about increasing their use of solar.Tweet