Energy, Climate Change
and Our Environment

The President has taken unprecedented action to build the foundation for a clean energy economy, tackle the issue of climate change, and protect our environment.

Securing American Energy

Develop and Secure America's Energy Resources

We need to deploy American assets, innovation, and technology so that we can safely and responsibly develop more energy here at home and be a leader in the global energy economy.

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The Obama Energy Agenda and Gas Prices
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Safe and Responsible Domestic Oil and Gas Production

Domestic oil and natural gas production has increased every year President Obama has been in office. In 2012, domestic oil production climbed to the highest level in 15 years and natural gas production reached an all-time high. In addition, in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the Obama Administration has launched the most aggressive and comprehensive reforms to offshore oil and gas regulation and oversight in U.S. history to ensure that our nation can safely and responsibly expand development of offshore energy resources. The Administration is also taking steps to ensure we can safely develop our vast supplies of domestic natural gas.

Increasing American Energy Independence

Since President Obama took office, America’s dependence on foreign oil has decreased every year. During his first term, net imports of foreign oil and petroleum fell to their lowest level in nearly 20 years. We are now less reliant on oil imports than any time since 1993.


Provide Consumers with Choices to Reduce Costs and Save Energy

Volatile gasoline prices reinforce the need for innovation that will help consumers save money and protect the environment by driving more advanced and fuel-efficient vehicles, using alternative means of transportation, and making their homes and workplaces more energy efficient.

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More Efficient Cars and Trucks

Since taking office, President Obama has made critical investments in advanced vehicle and fuel technologies, public transit, and high speed rail. The Obama Administration has proposed the toughest fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles in U.S. history, requiring an average performance equivalent of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. Over time, these new standards will save consumers more than $8,000 in lower fuel costs by doubling the fuel efficiency of our cars and light trucks. The Administration has also finalized the first-ever national fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for commercial trucks, vans, and buses for model years 2014-2018. These standards are projected to save over 500 million barrels of oil and save vehicle owners and operators an estimated $50 billion in fuel costs.

During the President’s second term, the Administration will once again partner with industry leaders and other key stakeholders to develop post-2018 fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles to further reduce fuel consumption through the application of advanced cost-effective technologies..

“More broadly, the Administration will continue to support research as well as leverage partnerships between the private and public sectors to deploy cleaner fuels, including advanced biofuels, batteries and fuel cell technologies, in every transportation mode.

White House fuel efficiency standards

 

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More Efficient Homes, Buildings, and Factories

The Administration’s ongoing energy efficiency agenda crosses sectors. Since October 2009, the Department of Energy and the Department of Housing and Urban Development have jointly completed energy upgrades in more than one million homes across the country. For many families, these upgrades save over $400 on their heating and cooling bills in the first year alone. Through the President’s Better Buildings Challenge, we are working to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings by 20 percent by 2020. The Administration has also partnered with manufacturing companies, representing over 1,400 plants, to improve energy efficiency by 25 percent over 10 years.If this performance were achieved by the entire U.S. manufacturing sector over the next decade, savings in total energy costs could exceed $100 billion.


Innovate Our Way to a Clean Energy Future

Leading the world in clean energy is critical to strengthening the American economy and winning the future. We can get there by creating markets for innovative clean technologies that are ready to deploy, and by funding cutting-edge research to produce the next generation of technologies.

America’s Clean Energy Potential

  • Historic Clean Energy Investments
    • Thanks in part to the Obama Administration’s investment in clean energy – the largest in American history – the United States has more than doubled renewable energy generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources since 2008.

      In addition, President Obama has repeatedly called on Congress to eliminate the wasteful tax breaks for the oil and gas industry, which would save American taxpayers $4 billion per year.

  • Renewable Energy on Public Lands
    • Since 2009, the Department of Interior has approved 25 utility-scale solar facilities, 9 wind farms, and 11 geothermal plants, which will provide enough electricity to power 4.4 million homes and support an estimated 17,000 jobs.

  • Nuclear Power
    • The Administration has conditionally committed to support the financing of a new nuclear power plant in Burke, Georgia. This plant received its license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission in February 2012, making it the first new commercial nuclear power plant approved in the United States in more than three decades. When built, the plant will provide clean electricity to 1.4 million people.

  • Smart Grid
    • Expanding and modernizing our electric grid can provide improved access to remote sources of solar and wind energy, reduce power outages, and save consumers money. In 2011, the Administration announced that it would accelerate the permitting review of seven proposed electric transmissions lines. These infrastructure projects, when built, will increase grid capacity, facilitating better integration of renewable energy sources, avoiding blackouts, and helping to accommodate the growing number of electric vehicles on the road.

      The Administration launched a Green Button initiative in 2011 to empower Americans to reduce energy use in their homes. Thirty-five utilities across the country have voluntarily committed to provide 36 million homes and businesses with access to their own energy data in the Green Button format, with already 19 million homes and businesses having access today.

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Clean Energy Research & Development

Staying on the Cutting-Edge

 In 2009, the Administration funded the Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) for the first time ever, which focuses on “out-of-the-box” transformational energy research that brings together our nation’s best scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs. The Fiscal Year 2014 Budget continues the President’s commitment to keeping the United States at the forefront of clean energy research, development, and deployment.

Clean Energy Innovation Hubs

To unleash American innovation, the Administration has launched a series of clean energy innovation hubs, which bring together teams of the best researchers and engineers in the United States to solve major energy challenges. The hubs will focus on improving batteries and energy storage, reducing constraints from critical materials, developing fuels that can be produced directly from sunlight, improving energy efficient building systems design, and using modeling and simulation for advanced nuclear reactor operations.

 

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Leading by Example

Federal Government

President Obama believes that as the largest energy consumer in the U.S. economy, the Federal government has an obligation to lead by example when it comes to its environmental, energy and economic performance. To underscore this commitment, President Obama signed an Executive Order on Federal sustainability that directs Federal agencies to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, meet a number of energy, water, and waste reduction targets, improve the efficiency of vehicle fleets, and leverage Federal purchasing power to promote environmentally-responsible products and technologies. Agencies have begun releasing annual sustainability plans describing the steps they are taking to meet these goals.

Learn More About the Executive Order on Federal Sustainability

The U.S. Military

As part of the President's commitment to a strong national defense, the Department of Defense (DoD) is harnessing energy efficiency and new energy technologies to give our troops better energy options on the battlefield, at sea, in the air, and at home. DoD is investing in better aircraft engines, hybrid electric drives for ships, improved power for patrol bases in Afghanistan, and higher building efficiency at facilities worldwide. DoD – the single largest consumer of energy in the United States – is committed to deploying three gigawatts of renewable energy on military installations, including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal, by 2025. To guide future investments and policy, the Operational Energy Strategy Implementation Plan, released in March 2012, serves as a roadmap to transform the way the Department uses energy in military operations.


 
Learn More about the Secure Energy Future Blueprint