President Obama details an Action Plan on Climate
On the heels of the administration's release of the Third National Climate Assessment report, President Barack Obama today announced an array of executive actions and public and private sector commitments to increase solar installations and energy efficiency improvements, strengthen energy efficiency standards, and bolster the solar industry workforce. The actions and pledges that Obama laid out will deploy enough solar energy to power nearly 130,000 homes, cut carbon emissions by the equivalent of taking 80 million cars off the road and save businesses $26 billion on their energy bills, the White House said in a statement.
"We don't look backwards. We look forward. We don't fear the future," Obama said on why it's time to conserve energy, promote renewables and take action on climate change.
Speaking at a Walmart store in Mountain View, Calif., Obama said that more than 300 public agencies, multifamily and affordable housing organizations, rural electric cooperatives, and businesses like Home Depot, Ikea, Google, Wal-mart and Goldman Sachs have signed on to install solar panels — representing a total of 850 megawatts of solar energy. Twenty-five public agencies, multifamily housing organizations, businesses and manufacturers are also joining the president's Better Building Challenge, pledging to increase the energy efficiency of more than 1 billion square feet of their buildings — an area the size of 17,000 football fields — by at least 20 percent by 2020.
To help build the growing green economy, the Department of Energy (DOE) will launch community college programs across the U.S. to train 50,000 workers to enter the solar industry by 2020, Obama said, building on the DOE’s Solar Instructor Training Network of almost 400 community colleges in 49 states that have provided solar workforce training for over 22,000 students since 2010.
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