At Senator Harry Reid’s National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Obama promoted steps that the White House announced on Monday to try to shift U.S. energy away from carbon-producing sources such as coal and toward renewables such as solar.
President Barack Obama pledged to provide incentives to support investments in renewable energy, saying the industry will thrive despite opposition by Republicans and fossil-fuel suppliers.
The White House on Monday announced a $1 billion increase in loan guarantees for renewable energy projects, $24 million in new grants for solar research and measures to reduce costs for homeowners to install solar panels. The government also said it would approve a transmission line for a large solar plant in Riverside County, California.
Image source: Bloomberg
/ Photographer: Isaac (Brekken/Getty Images)
“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.”
Framing climate change as “one of the most important issues not just of our time, but of any time,” Obama said renewable energy offered a viable solution. He made the economic case for developing green industries that provide “a steady stream of well-paying jobs. The solar industry now employs twice as many Americans as mining coal,” he claimed.
The president has set a target of reducing U.S. carbon emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels in 2025. (Source: Bloomberg