Obama administration’s clean energy legacy

Global Business

In 2008, when then Senator Barack Obama campaigned for the Presidency, the king of energy production was coal. Today coal has lost its crown with its production on a steep decline.

Renewable sources of energy like solar and wind have been rapidly expanding.

CGTN’s Daniel Ryntjes reports.

Obama administration’s clean energy legacy

Obama administration’s clean energy legacy

In 2008, when then Senator Barack Obama campaigned for the Presidency, the king of energy production was coal. Today coal has lost its crown with its production on a steep decline. Renewable sources of energy like solar and wind have been rapidly expanding. CGTN’s Daniel Ryntjes reports.

Natural gas now accounts for nearly a third of total U.S. energy production. That’s because of the expansions of hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” techniques. Natural gas burning is much cleaner than coal.

Shortly after coming into office, President Obama signed into law a financial stimulus bill from Congress that included $90 billion in strategic clean energy investments and tax incentives to be overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy.

“Our core responsibility is advancing the solutions. And the solutions here mean advancing clean energy technologies, getting cost reductions in those technologies. And, I might observe, that’s been going quite swimmingly in terms of those cost reductions,” Ernest Moniz, U.S. secretary of energy, said.

Presidents Xi and Obama last year jointly agreed to enter an international climate accord known as the Paris Agreement. It provides extra incentives to develop green energy solutions.

“I am absolutely convinced, bumps in the road here or there, we are heading to a low carbon economy. And I don’t mean just the United States, I mean globally. The IEA estimates 60 trillion dollars of investment to meet the Paris goals to 2030,” said Moniz.

For now, renewables sources represent only about 10 percent of the overall energy mix in the United States. But wind and solar energy now costs as much to produce as natural gas in many U.S. states.

It’s leading to a massive ramp up of private sector investment, which ultimately will drive forward the quest for climate solutions initiated during the presidency of Barack Obama.


Paul Bledsoe discusses Obama’s energy legacy

To discuss more on Obama administration’s legacy in clean energy, CGTN’s Rachelle Akuffo spoke with Paul Bledsoe, president of Bledsoe & Associates, a strategic public policy firm specializing in energy, natural resources and climate change.