The State of Our Energy (Efficiency) is Strong

The State of Renewables Is Strong and Congress Needs to Keep It That Way by Nathanael Greene

Along with reaffirming his commitment to double-down on America’s energy efficiency to help counter the worst effects of climate change, President Obama used last night’s State of the Union address to challenge Congress to act to ensure our national policies fully support the nation’s transition to a clean energy economy.

The president touted energy efficiency’s amazing success in his speech and the accompanying documents released by the White House, but there wasn’t time to list all the great energy-saving initiatives under way in the United States. Even so, much more work needs to be done to advance efficiency—our cheapest resource—and renewables like wind and solar, especially in Congress. And that begins with Congress renewing— and expanding—the clean energy tax incentives it let expire on December 31, while billions in subsidies continue to big polluters.

Last night, in his State of the Union speech, President Obama reaffirmed our country’s moral obligation to protect our kids from the dangers of climate change. And in doing that, he gave a shout-out to one of America’s fastest-growing industries, a critical tool in this fight—solar power: “Every four minutes,” he observed, “another American home or business goes solar—every panel pounded into place by a worker whose job can’t be outsourced.”

The president is right: America is making impressive gains on renewables such as wind and solar power, and energy efficiency, at least for now. Thanks to important federal, state and local policies and laws that promote clean, renewable energy, overall, the state of renewable energy in America is strong.

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