With debates over the safety of technologies like fracking and the validity of clean coal, many will keeping an eye on the Federal Government not only for regulations, but for investments into alternative sources energy. The White House website for energy policy states: “We can’t have an energy strategy for the last century that traps us in the past. We need an energy strategy for the future – an all-of-the-above strategy for the 21st century that develops every source of American-made energy.”
In 2009, the Obama Administration funded the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) which invested in domestic renewables in order to wean the country from dependence on foreign oil. The White House also aims to establish a Clean Energy Standard (CES) that would double the amount of electricity from clean energy sources to 80% by 2035. Since 2009, the Department of the Interior has also approved 29 large-scale renewable energy projects, and it has asserted that they are committed to continue to issue permits on public land throughout the next term to establish 10,000 megawatts of power by the end of this year alone.
Through-nuts-and-bolts programs that improve standards on cars and trucks, we’re looking forward to improved fuel economy and incentives for big automakers to go green. The Obama Administration has already announced a 56.4 MPG fuel efficiency standard in association with 13 automakers for the year 2025. The mandate could save the country an impressive $1.7 trillion. Start-ups such as Tesla Motors have been making headlines with their all-electric vehicles, exciting entrepreneurs and attracting attention from federal funding. In 2009, the start-up received $465 million in government money, and has since been driving ahead of expectations with its line of sedans and charging stations. With that kind of investment from the top, it is exciting to think of what kind of progress could be made with an increased focus on subsidizing green technology over polluting industry.