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Steven Chu reviews accomplishments as Energy Secretary
02-04-2013, 06:13 AM
Post: #1
Steven Chu reviews accomplishments as Energy Secretary
This farewell letter by Seven Chu was written about elsewhere with emphasis on his powerful call to action on climate change. That's definitely worth reading, but I want to quote here some of what he wrote about the administration's accomplishments on clean energy.

Quote:In the last four years, the production of clean, renewable energy from wind and solar has doubled – driven in part by our Administration investments in the development and deployment of the latest technologies. Installations of solar photovoltaic systems have nearly doubled in each one of the last three years, exceeding 1.8 gigawatts in 2011. According to AWEA, last year 42 percent of new energy capacity in the U.S. was from wind – more than any other energy source.

In addition to our approximately $25 billion annual budget, we were entrusted by Congress to make a $36 billion investment through the Recovery Act to help ensure that the clean energy jobs of tomorrow are being created here in America today. And we made this investment with a robust review process that brought a new level of expertise from inside and outside the Department to ensure that decisions were based on the merits of each applicant.

The Department has helped one million low income homeowners weatherize their homes. We launched the President’s Better Buildings Challenge which has secured $2 billion in commitments from more than 100 major companies, universities, hospitals, retailers, cities and states to upgrade 2 billion square feet of commercial and industrial space by 2020. To put that in perspective, that’s more than 400 times the square footage of the Sears Tower.

We administered a loan program authorized by Congress in the previous administration. The program generated a portfolio of loans and loan guarantees to 33 clean energy and advanced automotive manufacturing projects that will support 60,000 jobs and generate $55 billion in economic investment. Energy and infrastructure loan programs first put into action in the last four years are being replicated by numerous other countries around the world.

During the election there was an argument made by many Democrats and environmentalists that the decline of coal use was due to the low price of natural gas. It was an attempt to take the heat off environmentalists for the loss of coal jobs. The price of natural gas is a huge part, but it's wrong to dismiss the effectiveness of EPA regulation and Obama's decision to make the stimulus focus on energy.

I'm not happy about the billions wasted on "clean coal" projects that failed. But, they invested far more in clean energy and efficiency.
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