President Barack Obama Makes Big Plans for Renewable Energy
President Barack Obama delivered a speech at a Wal-Mart in Mountain View, California, on Friday May 9th, where he unveiled 300 measures that would expand the use of clean energy sources that would create jobs and reduce dependence on foreign oil.
The president chose Wal-Mart because of its effort and commitment to renewable energy, including solar panel installations, the replacement of traditional light bulbs to LEDs and the implementation of electric vehicle charging stations, Al-Jazeera America reported.
“This Wal-Mart is different, and that’s why I’m here,” the president said. “More and more companies like Wal-Mart are realizing that wasting less energy isn’t just good for the planet — it’s good for business; it’s good for the bottom line; and it means jobs.”
Obama told the crowd gathered at the event that the department chain’s upgrades had created dozens of construction jobs while the company also saved money on energy bills.
He announced “new executive actions that will lead to $2 billion in energy efficiency investments in Federal buildings, smarter appliances that will cut carbon pollution by more than 380m metric tons — equivalent to taking 80 million cars off the road for one year — and will save business nearly $26 billion on their energy bills.”
While the president spoke on the other side of the nation, the White House’s solar panels that were recently reinstalled became fully operational, according to Al-Jazeera.
In a White House video posted Friday, Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz spoke highly of the solar panels and added that the nation has to continue to do more.
“Solar panels on the White House are a really impressive message: Solar is here, we are doing it, and we can do a lot more,” Moniz said. “The clean energy revolution is not something for the distant future — it’s happening right now.”
Former president Jimmy Carter installed solar panels in the White House in 1979 during the nation-wide energy crisis that was the Arab oil embargo.
When Carter had them installed, he said the panels could either serve as an “example of a road not taken” or “a small part of one of the greatest and most exciting adventures ever undertaken by the American people.”
However, when Ronald Reagan took office, one of his first acts was removing the solar panels. His chief-of-staff reportedly said president Reagan thought solar power was “just a joke.”
“Changing the way we use energy is just one of the ways Americans have been working so hard to move this country forward,” Obama said. “The transition to a clean energy future will create new jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and we will leave our children with a better America and a better future.”