When President Obama became president he promised a green energy revolution that would cut our dependence on foreign oil and make the production of our goods healthier for the environment. In his inaugural address he stated, “We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories.” Over the past 8 years American has done just that and there are a number of figures that affirm he met his promise on this account.
Since President Obama took office in 2009, U.S. coal production has fallen by 36%. With the drop in coal production has come a drop in carbon dioxide emissions of 12%. Foreign petroleum imports have decreased by 58% and continue to fall further each year. Gas prices have fallen from their peaks of over $4/gallon in the summer of 2008 to an average of $2.25/gallon last month. That drop has meant real savings for the average American at the pump.
For the average driver who drives 12,000 miles a year and gets an average of 31 mpg, they will have spent about $700 less per year this year compared to what they spent in 2008. However, that figure is actually higher because the average fuel efficiency of passenger vehicles has improved from 31 mpg in 2008 to over 36 mpg in 2016, an increase of over 20%.
In the past eight years our energy revolution has moved into other fields beyond mines and gas pumps as well. Wind and solar power production has increased by 342% between 2008 and 2016. As a whole, renewable energy production has more than double during President Obama’s years in office. This remarkable increase has helped to make the United States the second largest producer of renewable energy in the world.
The past 8 years can truly be referred to as an energy revolution in the United States. This revolution has strengthened our energy position in the world. In doing so, we have weakened our dependence on foreign oil and improved our leverage over our adversaries whom we used to be dependent on. It means that the air we breath is cleaner, the lights we use to illuminate our homes more efficient, and the cars we drive go further on less fuel. Of possibly even more importance, our energy revolution has allowed us to take a leadership role on slowing the very serious threat that climate change poses to the world in the coming years.