Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

Archive for the ‘Obama’ tag

Obama Outlines Energy-Efficiency Program

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MARCH 2, 2010, 3:15 P.M. ET


SAVANNAH, Ga.—President Barack Obama promoted his “green jobs” agenda Tuesday in a speech designed to show he’s committed to work on the economy, despite roadblocks in Congress.

The president made only a single glancing reference to health care in his 16-minute speech at the Savannah Technical College. Instead, he talked up the administration’s energy-related jobs proposals, particularly its “Homestar” plan to provide rebates to homeowners who invest in energy-saving home upgrades.

Read the entire article here.

Adding some juice to the nuclear energy industry

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I’ve heard that about the biggest cost for building a nuclear power plant is the legal fees required to protect the operating firm from all of the liability and public pressure on new plants. Could it be that this is the reason why Obama, an attorney, is putting so much government money into nuclear energy? All that hope, fading to cynicism in the face of all this deficit spending.

I still like nuclear power, but am tired of thinking about the debt my grandchildren will be forced to shoulder due to a decade of irresponsible government. Come on, Obama, where’s the fiscally conservative pragmatist endorsed by The Economist?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

“OBAMA doubles down on nuclear energy,” wrote an environmental blogger after the president’s State of the Union address last month. Actually, it’s more like he tripled down. After his speech, he proposed increasing the size of the federal loan guarantee program for building nuclear power plants from $18 billion to $54 billion, and this week he backed two proposed reactors in Georgia — which would be the first built in decades — promising that this would just be the first of many such announcements.

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

February 20th, 2010 at 2:06 pm

DOE Delivers Its First, Long-Awaited Nuclear Loan Guarantee

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By PETER BEHR of ClimateWire
Published: February 17, 2010

The Obama administration yesterday pledged a conditional $8.3 billion loan guarantee to support the construction of two nuclear reactors in Georgia, which would be the first new U.S. nuclear plants in more than three decades. More commitments are on the way, officials said.

Administration climate adviser Carol Browner said yesterday that the Energy Department’s preliminary commitment to Southern Co. and its partners in the $14 billion Plant Vogtle development was hopefully “the first of many new nuclear projects.”

Read the entire article here.

Written by Jason

February 17th, 2010 at 7:05 am

Renewables in Vogue at Obama’s DOE

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Published: February 2, 2010

Nuclear, solar and wind power are the popular kids in the Energy Department schoolyard this year, while oil, gas and coal have been sent to detention.

When he sent his proposed spending plan to Congress yesterday, President Obama recommended subsidizing new nuclear plants with loan guarantees and shoveling more money at wind and solar research.

But when the administration’s budget cutters got to the oil patch, they found a target-rich environment with plenty of programs and tax breaks they wanted to cut.

Read the entire article here.

New Biofuels Strategy and EPA Policy: Promote Clean Energy & Green Jobs

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I agree with Mr. Dineen that there is great promise in second generation technologies such as cellulosic biofuels, and other technologies on the horizon, such as the drop in replacements for gasoline that he mentions later in the article. But I do not agree that the current, high-input, industrial production of corn in the U.S. is a system that should continue, for biofuels or any other purpose. Runoff from nitrogen fertilizers in the Midwest causes tremendous damage to the Gulf of Mexico, creating a hypoxic zone that hurts fishing industries there as well as human health along the Mississippi River Basin. Not only is its production causing considerable damage, its main end uses–as feed for cattle that are not meant to eat grain, or processed into high fructose corn syrup and other products for people–are not healthy in their consumption.

While some have argued that corn serves as a necessary bridge to biofuels feedstocks that do not compete with food or even agricultural land, I see no reason why those technologies cannot continue to be developed in the absence of a corn ethanol industry. The Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS) Dineen discusses mandate increasing amounts of ethanol from these advanced feedstocks, though it is doubtful that we will be able to meet the 2010 standards, the first year that they take effect, of 100 million gallons. Those involved in the corn ethanol supply chain would be more than happy to have that standard waived, allowing those 100 million gallons to be supplied with their product. This does nothing to move us closer to those  biofuels that do not compete with the food supply or even prime agricultural land, are much healthier for the environment, and create more jobs in rural America.

Bob Dinneen

President and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA)

Posted: February 4, 2010 06:42 PM

With two important policy announcements, the Obama Administration is putting the nation on track to increase its production and use of clean-burning, American-made biofuels.

That’s good news for all Americans who care about protecting the environment, combating climate change, generating good-paying jobs, reviving rural communities, and reducing our dependence on imported petroleum.


Second, the Administration understands that the nation needs every proven or promising biofuels technology, from existing corn ethanol to the newer cellulosic (non-grain-based) technologies and the most visionary “next generation” technologies. New or old, we need them all. Yes, it is essential that all the newer technologies – from those closest to fruition to those that are still years from commercialization – have every opportunity to succeed.

Read the entire article here.

Obama Says Senate May Drop Cap and Trade, Pass Energy-Only Bill

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I hear more and more that this is the most likely scenario. Though at a recent townhall-style meeting, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) claimed that this fight was far from over and that he is optimistic about the chances for a cap and trade bill. Even if this bill passes, I don’t see it taking effect for several years, so if one is looking for change in energy markets, it won’t likely come from Cap and Trade for several years. The mere belief that this may happen, combined with public perceptions and pressure from consumers and shareholders are already causing considerable movement, as has been well documented on this site, towards renewable and low-carbon energy resources.

Published: February 3, 2010

President Obama acknowledged yesterday that the Senate may pass an energy bill this year without the cap-and-trade component he has long put at the center of his environmental agenda.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Nashua, N.H., Obama repeated his call for a price on greenhouse gas emissions but said he recognized that such an approach may not have the votes to make it into law.

Read the entire article here.

Obama pushes energy plan that GOP may support

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Obama seeks GOP support for energy plan that includes coal, more drilling, nuclear power

By PHILIP ELLIOTT and MATTHEW DALY Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON February 3, 2010 (AP)
The Associated Press

Looking for a political and policy victory, President Barack Obama on Wednesday pushed energy proposals designed to attract allies and opponents alike, calling for increased ethanol production and new technology to limit pollution from the use of coal.


He spoke as the White House released presidential task force recommendations calling on both Washington and the private sector to spend more money on biofuels like ethanol. The group said the nation likely will fall short of goals Congress has set for creating more environmentally friendly energy.

At the same time, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a new rule requiring U.S. companies to produce at least 13 billion gallons of renewable fuels this year, up from about 11.1 billion gallons in 2009. Thirteen billion gallons is about 9 percent of overall U.S. fuel consumption. Congress has set a goal of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuel by 2022.


In his meeting with the governors, Obama also announced a new task force to study ways to increase the use of coal in meeting the nation’s energy needs without increasing the pollution that contributes to global warming.

“It’s been said that the United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal, and that’s because … it’s one of our most abundant energy resources,” Obama said. “If we can develop the technology to capture the carbon pollution released by coal, it can create jobs and provide energy well into the future.”

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President Obama reaches out to Republicans to get new energy legislation

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WE’VE ALREADY said that President Obama’s State of the Union address didn’t convince us that he had a real plan to improve the tone of politics in Washington. But on energy, Mr. Obama did reach out to Republicans — not just rhetorically, but with substantive concessions meant to revitalize a foundering legislative effort.

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U.S. Government Plans to Reduce Its Energy Use

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Published: January 29, 2010

WASHINGTON — The federal government will take steps to cut its energy use and reduce its heat-trapping emissions by 28 percent by 2020, compared with 2008 levels, the White House announced on Friday.

The government is the largest user of electricity and fuel in the country, accounting for roughly 1.5 percent of the nation’s annual energy consumption and emissions of the gases that contribute to global warming. The White House said the emissions reduction goal, if met, would save $8 billion to $11 billion in energy costs over the next decade.

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The State of the Union: Jobs, Energy and Climate

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Dear Mr. President,

Please base these important energy initiatives on market incentives, rather than excessive government oversight.

Thank you,


Click here to find out more!

Steven Cohen

Posted: January 28, 2010 01:48 PM
I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But here’s the thing — even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future — because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation.

Read the entire article here.