Obama’s First Term Clean Energy Priorities: How Did He Do?

As President Obama’s first term draws to a close, the Center for American Progress (CAP) reflected on their energy and environmental goals that  they put together in 2008. Out of their top 10 goals, the Obama administration managed to claim success or partial success in eight of them. Here’s how their list fared over the past four years:

  • An increase in fuel economy standards will produce cleaner cars
  • First steps were made toward carbon pollution standards under the Clean Air Act
  • Billions of dollars were invested in clean energy as a part of economic recovery
  • Mercury pollution from power plants was slashed
  • Loans to auto companies prevented their bankruptcy and improved fuel economy
  • Energy efficiency measures were taken under the economic recovery package
  • Four billion dollars were invested in modernizing the electric grid
  • Nearly $17 billion dollars were invested in clean energy research, development and deployment

Overall CAP was quite impressed “despite congressional failure to pass essential legislation to reduce carbon pollution and establish a renewable electricity standard.” Looking forward, CAP notes that, “[t]he administration must continue this progress in its second term by building on these successes.”