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Solar Panels on the White House and in the Desert, 36 Billion Gallons of Biofuels, and Cleaner Trucks

As National Energy Awareness Month draws to a close, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner highlights some events and announcements from the Administration that are helping us build a clean energy economy.

Building a clean energy economy in this country is one of President Obama’s top priorities.  As National Energy Awareness Month - a national effort to underscore how central energy policy is to our national prosperity, security, and environment – draws to a close, I wanted to highlight some of the events and announcements from the Administration that are helping us build a clean energy economy.

We’re installing solar panels on the White House, building the largest solar energy power plant in the world on our public lands, and proposing the first-ever greenhouse gas and fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty cars and trucks.  All told, the Administration held and made over 140 energy-related events and announcements this month.  Below are just a few of the highlights, but you can see the full calendar of events here.

  • Solar Power and the Clean Energy Economy. President Obama kicked off the month by highlighting a revolutionary new solar power plant in California that will employ 1,000 people and power nearly 140,000 homes.  The plant is possible because of the President’s investments in the clean energy economy.
  • Empowering Defense through Energy Security. The Department of Defense and the Navy hosted events to discuss how they can turn their energy use from a strategic and operationalliability to a key strength for the men and women of our armed forces.
  • Solar Panels on the White House. At the Green Gov Symposium in Washington, DC, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Chair of the Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley announced that solar panels and a solar water heater will be installed on the roof of the White House residence this spring.
  • Cleaner Trucks, Buses and Vans. The Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency announced the first-ever proposed national standards for greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency for heavy-duty trucks, vans and buses
  • Ramping Up Solar Power on Public Lands.  In October, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a series of six new solar power projects on public lands including the first-ever solar power plant on public lands and the largest solar power plant in the world.
  • You Asked, Chu Answered. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu answers your questions on making your home more energy efficient.
  • 36 Billion Gallons of Biofuels. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack outlined the steps USDA will take to reach a national goal of producing 36 billion gallons of biofuel a year in the United States by 2022, with 21 billion gallons coming from advanced biofuel production.
  • Building More Sustainable Communities. The Department of Transportation, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Housing and Urban Development joined forces to support communities who are providing Americans more housing choices, make transportation systems more efficient and reliable, and support vibrant neighborhoods that attract businesses.  This is good for our communities, our environment and our economy.
  • Preparing for and Responding to Climate Change. The Interagency Climate Change Adaptation Task Force released a report with recommendations that will help strengthen the Nation’s capacity to prepare for and respond to the risks associated with climate change. 
  • Historic Investments in High Speed Rail. U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced that 54 high-speed rail projects in 23 states will receive a combined total of $2.4 billion to continue developing America’s first nationwide program of high-speed intercity passenger rail service.  These investments will ease our reliance on foreign oil and reduce our nation’s carbon pollution.

Since taking office, President Obama and his Administration have invested over $90 billion in clean energy technology through the Recovery Act, advanced new fuel-economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards for cars, light trucks and heavy duty trucks, and lead by example by cutting the federal government’s own carbon footprint.  But there is still much work to be done.  We will continue to invest in clean energy technologies and energy efficiency to create jobs and compete in the global marketplace.