Obama Call for Action on Clean Energy – Could Spur NY Solar and Wind
NEW YORK - President Obama challenged the nation Wednesday to regain first place in clean-energy investment, and some say his call for a national renewable-energy standard could help spur investment in states such as New York.
Less than one-fourth of New York's power comes from renewable energy, and most of that is hydroelectric power that has been around for a long time. Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Clean Energy Program, says New York and other eastern states could see greater investment in wind and solar projects.
"The president is right. We need policy to tell the private sector and investors that we are open for business, that we have a renewable energy goal that they can invest in."
Obama wants to see the U.S. attain 80 percent clean-energy generation by 2035. Cuttino says the Senate is debating several variations of the plan.
Laura Haight, senior environmental associate at the New York Public Interest Research Group, also believes Obama is on the right track with investments in clean energy, although she disagrees with the inclusion of nuclear power in that investment. She says the nation would do better to invest in truly clean renewables such as wind and solar.
"President Obama continues to support a massive $36 billion loan subsidy for new nuclear power plants. If that money were redirected to clean renewable energy, we could really jump-start these programs."
The Pew Charitable Trusts issued a report earlier this week - "Who's Winning the Clean Energy Race?" - which indicated that even though the nation attracted a 51 percent increase in clean-energy investment in 2010, it had fallen behind China and Germany.