The energy policy of the Obama Administration stated on the website of US President Barack Obama lists the guiding principles of the administration regarding energy and the environment. They are: creating new clean energy jobs and technologies, making America more energy independent, and reducing carbon emissions.
On April 13, 2010, in honor of the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the White House website summarized the initiatives that the Administration is taking or has undertaken. They include:
• A $3.4 billion Smart Grid Investment Grant (part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009) which would affect 49 states and has the potential to reduce electricity use by over 4% by 2030,
• The launch of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) project under the Department of Energy and in collaboration with the Department of Defense, modeled after the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency,
• A new report on how the federal government can help create a "self-sustaining home energy efficiency retrofit industry"
• New efficiency standards for home appliances,
• A new National Fuel Efficiency Policy that will apply to cars from model years 2012-2016 and will ultimately require cars to have an average fuel efficiency of 35.5 mpg by 2016,
• Three different measure to increase the production of biofuels: a renewable fuels standard, biomass crop assistance program, and a biofuels working group. The President has also created an interagency task force to help create a federal strategy for carbon capture and storage, and
• A new Environmental Protection Agency ruling (called the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule) requiring the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions by major emitters in the United States.
Clean Energy and the Recovery Act
Many of the Obama Administration's initiatives were undertaken as a result of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and many of those investments were specifically in clean energy. According to a report by Clean Edge: The Clean Tech Marketing Authority, the Recovery Act included over $70 billion in tax credits and direct spending for programs involving clean energy and transportation.
The White House website states that the Recovery Act provided over $80 billion in clean energy investments. This includes:
• $11 billion for a smart grid to connect rural energy-producing sites with cities, and smarter use of energy within homes,
• $5 billion to weatherize low-income homes,
• $4.5 billion to reduce the federal government's own energy bill by making federal buildings more energy efficient,
• $6.3 billion to support state and local energy efforts,
• $600 million to train people for green jobs, and
• $2 billion to promote investment in battery storage technologies.
Clean Edge lists other recent policies of the Obama Administration to support the clean energy sector in the US, including:
• Extension of the investment tax credit for solar energy,
• Extension of the production tax credit for wind energy,
• Allowing utilities to participate in income tax credits, and
• Allowing renewable energy developers to receive government grants instead of tax credits.
In a speech on March 31, 2010 at Andrews Air Force Base, President Obama outlined a new energy security plan. The President's plan included initiatives mentioned above such as raising fuel efficiency standards. He also announced a decision to double the number of hybrid vehicles in the federal government's fleet and a decision to expand domestic offshore oil and gas exploration in Alaska and off the southwest coast of the United States.