President Obama has made renewable energy a priority throughout this presidency – let me rephrase that: he’s made talking about renewable energy a priority.
The question of whether or not our progressive president has actually made a difference in regards to clean energy and carbon emissions in another story. As reported by Fox News, Obama spent $150 billion in taxpayer funds on green initiatives between the years 2009 and 2014. During that time, our use of renewable energy increased by a mere one percent.
“President Obama subsidized solar and other renewable energy in the United States with taxpayer money to the tune of $39 billion per year on average for the past 5 years. These massive subsidies, however, have done little to increase the contribution of solar power to the electricity generation mix as solar is expected to produce just 0.6% of electricity generation this year,” reports the Institute for Energy Research.
Obama vowed that his green investments would take the United States forward, but instead over 30 of them have gone belly up – taking taxpayer cash and American jobs with them (more on this below). Despite his failures at home, Obama tried his best to spread his green initiatives overseas. His first target was China, the world’s second biggest emitter (after the US).
Obama penned a historic deal with China in 2014 in which the communist nation promised to begin peaking emissions by 2030. He tried to forge a similar deal with India just two months later, but Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he must concentrate on bringing electricity to the hundreds of millions of Indians without it before he can start thinking about climate change.
Obama left India after three days of failed negotiations. His insensitive farewell speech only made the situation worse: “I know the argument made by some – that it’s unfair for countries like the US to ask developing nations and emerging economies like India to reduce your dependence on the same fossil fuels that helped power our growth for more than a century…but here’s the truth: even if countries like the US curb our emissions, if countries that are growing rapidly like India with soaring energy needs don’t also embrace cleaner fuels, then we don’t stand a chance against climate change.”
While Obama was touring the world (in a massively expensive and not environmentally friendly Air Force One jet) and talking about climate change, his taxpayer-funded energy projects in the US were suffering. I won’t list all 36 of his failed projects here, but just to name a few:
Solyndra ($535 million): forced to close its doors and lay off over 1,000 workers in August 2011 after billions of dollars in losses.
Azure Dynamics ($5.4 million): filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and laid off 120 employees after wasting millions of “stimulus” dollars.
Evergreen Solar ($527 million): filed for bankruptcy in 2011 and slashed more than 1,800 jobs.
UniSolar: filed for bankruptcy in 2012 and cut hundreds of jobs. UniSolar remains in business thanks to Obama’s continuing help.
ECOtality ($126.2 million): teeters on the verge of bankruptcy after obtaining $115 in loans from the federal government.
Obama continues to aid the failing solar industry, which to this day has never produced a single working product capable of helping the US energy sector. Like socialism, there is zero evidence that it works – but people continue to support it.
Newt Gingrich has the right of it when he says, “This is one of those interesting left-wing ideas which works theoretically as long as it’s not real. And then you put in a half billion dollars and you go, ‘Oh, that didn’t quite work.’”