Federal stimulus: Pork or real energy policy?

Feb. 6, 2009
By Elisa Wood February 5, 2009 Two recent gestures by President Obama indicate that he is serious about clean energy and will pursue it differently than any of his predecessors. First, he made history in using his inaugural speech to promote renewable energy – something never done before by a US President, according to Department […]

By Elisa Wood

February 5, 2009

Two recent gestures by President Obama indicate that he is serious about clean energy and will pursue it differently than any of his predecessors.

First, he made history in using his inaugural speech to promote renewable energy – something never done before by a US President, according to Department of Energy’s EERE News Network. http://www.eere.energy.gov/

Second, on February 5 Obama drilled down to the nitty-gritty of energy efficiency policy. In a presidential memorandum, he called for the DOE to establish higher standards for common household appliances.

“We’ll save through these simple steps over the next thirty years the amount of energy produced over a two-year period by all the coal-fired power plants in America,” he said in remarks at the DOE.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy says the memorandum marks the first time Obama has made efficiency standards a top priority in his domestic energy policy. Obama seeks legal deadlines to set standards, “an important break from his predecessors who fell behind on updates for some 22 standards,” according to ACEEE. http://www.aceee.org/

Both of these gestures were important, and indicate he will fulfill – or at least try – his energy campaign promises. But the true test of his ability to revamp US energy policy comes as he tries to sell the $50 billion for energy in the federal stimulus package. Critics are slamming some of the provisions, such as plans to upgrade federal buildings and improve the federal transportation fleet.

“They call it pork,” Obama said. “You know the truth. It will not only save the government significant money over time, it will not only create jobs manufacturing those vehicles, it will set a standard for private industry to match. And so when you hear these attacks deriding something of such obvious importance as this, you have to ask yourself – is it any wonder we haven’t had a real energy policy in this country?”

Obama – and the clean energy industry – clearly have an education effort ahead in a world where pork and fuel efficient vehicles are seen as one in the same.

Visit Elisa Wood at www.realenergywriters.com and pick up her free Energy Efficiency Markets podcast and newsletter.

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded RealEnergyWriters.com, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

Twitter: @ElisaWood

LinkedIn: Elisa Wood

Facebook:  Microgrids

Only through Standardization Can Microgrids Accelerate the Energy Transition

Jan. 18, 2024
Jana Gerber, North America microgrid president at Schneider Electric discusses how standardizing microgrids will accelerate the energy transition.

MGK_MGControllersWPCover_2022-01-27_13-40-49
MGK_MGControllersWPCover_2022-01-27_13-40-49
MGK_MGControllersWPCover_2022-01-27_13-40-49
MGK_MGControllersWPCover_2022-01-27_13-40-49
MGK_MGControllersWPCover_2022-01-27_13-40-49

Microgrid Controllers: Rapid Relief for Today’s Dynamic Grid

This white paper explores six ways in which microgrid controllers can solve common challenges that the modern grid faces, including improving resiliency.