Speaking in front of a Mountain View, California Walmart, the President said the business was one of 300 public and private sector entities that have agreed to increase their solar energy use. Walmart itself plans to double on-site energy projects by 2020.
Solar was the main focus of the President’s speech, with the promise that the White House’s initiatives would lead to an 850 megawatt boost in solar power. That’s enough to run approximately 130,000 homes.
To reduce the government’s own carbon footprint, Obama also announced $2 billion in energy efficiency investments in federal buildings. The fed estimates that this will save them about $26 billion on energy bills and have the effect of taking 80 million cars off the road.
Government programs will also involve the public, subsidizing green renewal and adding new jobs to the economy. The Federal Housing Administration will expand its Green Preservation Plus program to encourage affordable housing properties to invest in energy efficiency. Meanwhile, the Department of Energy will create jobs by building a Solar Instructor Training Network throughout American community colleges. By 2020, these solar training programs intend to put 50,000 people to work in the growing solar industry.
The Department of Energy will also be visiting major American cities to replace 500,000 outdoor light poles with high-efficiency lighting.
These executive actions will allow the President to leapfrog the political logjam in Washington. Despite Congressional “climate deniers who shout loud,” the President affirmed that “climate change is a fact.”