The president isn’t intimidated in the slightest by the major money from fossil-fuel and the pact the industry has with the conservative right as he announced new investment incentives for renewable energy.
Bloomberg reported that on Monday, the White House announced a $1 billion increase in loan guarantees for renewable energy projects and $24 million in new grants for solar research and measures to reduce costs for homeowners to install solar panels. In addition, the current administration also noted that it would approve a transmission line for a large solar plant in Riverside County, California.
“We’re going to make it even easier for individual homeowners to put solar panels on their roof with no upfront cost,” Obama said Monday night at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. “A lot of Americans are going solar and becoming more energy-efficient not because of tree huggers — although trees are important, just want you to know — but because they’re cost-cutters.”
Obama is really ruffling feathers in his last years in office. After meeting an agony of gridlock on nearly every decision in his first term, Obama is ready to deliver on everything he promised and then some to environmentalists in his early years. Most recently, policies to address what the president called “one of the greatest challenges we face this century,” such as the Clean Power Plan and the revamped solar programs, have infuriated traditional fuel producers. However, Obama stated firmly that the industry will thrive despite opposition by Republicans and fossil-fuel suppliers.
Obama said opponents of renewable energy feel threatened by the emerging industry and seek to make it more costly by “a massive lobbying effort” in Washington.
“That’s not progress, that’s not innovation,” he stated.
Expectedly, the GOP has tried to gut federal funding for clean energy programs, accusing the Obama administration of wasting money. United States Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz claimed that the logic is folly, and clean energy would continue to expand without government assistance, just at a slower pace.
That pace isn’t agreeable with 97 percent of publishing scientists who agree that warming trends over the past century are likely due to human activities. Apparently, the way Obama is making strides this year, it’s not ok with him either.