Energy Efficiency: A Focal Point in the State of the Union

2013-state-of-the-unionAs the nation watched President Obama give his State of the Union speech, they heard promises that would create more jobs, increase minimum wage, improve infrastructure, strengthen the education system, and lead them to a clean, energy independent future.  Limiting climate change, enhancing clean energy sources, and eliminating wasted energy were just some of the techniques Obama discussed.  With a persuasive demeanor, he explained how exactly he plans to achieve these energy goals.

Stating the fact that America is producing more oil now than ever during the past 15 years, President Obama discussed his optimism about how the country is on the path to control its own energy.  Wind power has significantly increased America’s energy capacity over the past year.  Solar power continues to provide clean energy while its costs are steadily dropping.  This has encouraged Obama to continue in the same direction by generating even more clean energy and making it even more affordable.

Along with more renewable energy, Obama is calling for new oil and gas permits to take advantage of the current natural gas boom.  To help these resources burn cleaner and more efficiently, he is encouraging additional research and technology to protect the nation’s air supply and waterways.

To move away from ever increasing gas prices, Obama proposed an Energy Security Trust that will promote new developments in the auto industry, such as electric and natural gas vehicles that operate with astonishing efficiency.  This Trust will “drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good.”  Obama stated, “If a nonpartisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we.  Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long.”

Although the U.S. has managed to reduce harmful carbon emissions to some extent, Obama sees this as a challenge to reduce even more, for the sake of our future generations.  Heat waves, wildfires, and droughts have not only become more common, but more intense as well.  Obama noted that twelve of the hottest years on record have occurred during the past 15 years, making it clear that climate change is indeed happening.

President Obama captivated the audience when he described his plan for Congress to work on a “bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change.”  If Congress fails to act quickly, Obama plans to take matters into his own hands.  “But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will.  I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

President Obama concluded his segment on energy by giving Americans a challenge.  “I’m also issuing a new goal for America: Let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years.”  States will receive federal support for the best proposals to construct energy efficient buildings that will help create jobs and lower energy bills.  Implementing strategies that will promote energy efficiency and cut waste is a simple method that will limit carbon emissions and help prevent electricity blackouts.

America’s energy industry continues to improve, but according to President Obama’s speech, there is still more that can be done.  Renewable energy companies can do their part to construct more wind turbines and solar farms.  Research facilities can work to develop efficient and affordable energy sources to fuel vehicles.  And residents can put forth their best efforts to reduce and eventually eliminate wasted energy.  Once the population of this country comes together and works to develop solutions that will catapult it in the right direction, Obama’s vision of an energy independent nation will finally become a reality.

Sarah Battaglia
Energy Curtailment Specialists, Inc.

Sarah can be found on LinkedIn and Google+.

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