Barack Obama’s presidency may signal good times for the sustainability industry.
Gregory Wetstone of the American Wind Energy Association told the New York Times that he was eager to work with a president whose policies “for the first time will reflect a national commitment to renewable energy” like wind and solar power.
Some environmentalists were also optimistic about an Obama administration. Seth Kaplan of the Conservation Law Foundation told the New York Times that in addition to renewables development, he hoped Obama would implement a “tremendous ramp-up in energy efficiency,” as well as national regulation of greenhouse gases.
However, other environmentalists were not as pleased with Obama’s support for coal. Although the president-elect supports clean coal technology, some environmentalists say the technology may take years or decades to garner widespread use.
During Obama’s campaign, he made renewable energy a focus of his energy policy. These include: aiming to generate 25 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2025; setting cap-and-trade programs to reduce the nation’s GHG emissions 80 percent by 2050; investing $150 billion over the next ten years in cleantech; and putting 1 million plug-in hybrid cars on the road by 2015.
The ethanol industry may also see a boost from an Obama administration, which has been more supportive than Senator John McCain of ethanol subsidies and expanded use of higher blends of ethanol (some blame McCain losing Iowa to his stance on ethanol subsidies).
However, the Daily Green reported that some analysts have been warning that Obama may scale-back plans, as the Obama administration faces mounting government debt and obligations related to the recent $700 billion bailout plans.