The Green Revolution promoted so vigorously by the American President four years ago has stopped.
In the early days of his presidency, President Obama said that it was important to invest heavily in renewables policy, to stop Spain taking the lead in the renewable energy sector.
In January, the Spanish government removed most of its subsidies for renewable energy, and the industry has effectively disappeared. Spain is now in deep recession.
Solar and Wind companies in the USA have disappeared in similar fashion. The White House has realised that the money it invested in companies like Solyndra, now defunct, will never be recovered.
The US government gave $1 billion to American companies in a program to make batteries for electric vehicles. The target was to build one million electric and hybrid vehicles in six years. At the halfway stage, 5% of them have been built.
Obama has become aware of some difficult choices. In 2009, his Earth Day message was dedicated to defeating climate change. On Earth Day 2012, climate was not mentioned.
The administration now supports fracking and natural-gas development. About 15% of American methane is currently from shale, and it has greatly reduced the cost of energy.
The President is not attending this year’s Earth Summit.
He has opened up the Alaskan Arctic to new oil development, granting Shell permits to drill offshore.
ND, habitat21, 3 Jun 12
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