This past Saturday during his weekly address (which can be seen below), President Obama stated that there is “perhaps no industry with more potential to create jobs now – and growth in the coming years – than clean energy.” In particular he cited a recently approved solar energy installation in California as an example of how the United States can lead the way in clean energy, despite recently falling behind China in Ernst & Young’s rankings.
Obama envisions jobs “for contractors to install energy-saving windows and insulation. Jobs for factory workers to build high-tech vehicle batteries, electric cars, and hybrid trucks. Jobs for engineers and construction crews to create wind farms and solar plants that are going to double the renewable energy we can generate in this country.”
This fledgling industry needs incentives to help it compete with nonrenewable and imported energy sources. As the president stated, clean energy is essential for “our economy, our security, and our planet”. A three-legged stool approximating the triumvirate of sustainability, these three factors create a blueprint for how this country should move forward with its energy policy.
The project will create 1,000 jobs and generate enough energy to power 140,000 homes. Located in the Mojave Desert, the project will employ solar thermal technology and generate 370MW of electricity when completed. According to the Mercury News, opposition to the construction exists on multiple fronts begging the question of trade-offs. “Several environmental groups and some Native American tribes have objected to locating the project in the Ivanpah Valley, saying it would negatively impact the habitat of the endangered desert tortoise as well as rare native plants, such as the Mojave milkweed and desert pincushion. Other local activists are warning of ‘energy sprawl’ and fear a rapid industrialization of the desert.”