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President Barack Obama is not backing down on clean energy, no matter how many people are getting all riled up about modern contentious events in the green technology sector – including the failed Solyndra debacle and the rejected Keystone XL oil pipeline project. In fact, not only is Obama not backing down on clean energy but also he is actually doubling down on it, hoping the investment will pay off in the long run.
“Doubling down” is a blackjack term that essentially refers to increasing a stake in an investment or opportunity. The goal is to take a larger chance, anticipating that the bigger gamble will pay off in the end. So why exactly is Obama willing to double down on clean energy – a topic he brought up multiple times during his State of the Union address? For several reasons:
1. Obama mentioned making efforts to allow the administration to allow the development of clean energy on enough public land to provide green energy to about three million American homes. In addition, the nation’s military will be a huge client for alternative fuels, with the U.S. Navy burning more than 2 billion gallons of jet fuel each year and the U.S. Department of Defense burning $18 billion worth of oil each year – a whopping 80 percent of the energy the federal government uses.
2. Although the United States has used less foreign oil than it has over the past several years, according to Obama, the country still needs other alternatives that will enable it to become even more independent and use less expensive, more environmentally friendly power sources.
3. The fostering of clean energy creates jobs at a time when the United States could use more. After all, according to a 2011 study by Google.org, advancement of clean energy potentially could generate more than a million new jobs in America’s economy by 2030 and add $150 billion in extra economic output.
Obama’s goal is to not make America rely totally on clean energy but to develop it as a viable option even as the country has access to enough of its own natural gas to last a century.
“Some technologies don’t pan out; some companies fail,” Obama said, referring to the 2011 Solyndra scandal, in which the Obama administration authorized a $535 million loan guarantee to the company before it filed for bankruptcy. “But I will not walk away from the promise of clean energy … I will not cede the wind or solar or battery industry to China or Germany because we refuse to make the same commitment here.”