Last week, President Obama announced a new set of initiatives designed to combat climate change by increasing energy efficiency and creating green jobs. His advisors claim that the initiatives will reduce energy bills for businesses by $26 billion over the next two decades while also drastically lowering carbon-based pollution. The many planned initiatives include support training for solar power workers and higher standards of efficiency for industrial equipment like escalators.

Obama’s announcement was wrought with controversy, however, as he chose a Walmart store in Silicon Valley as the venue for his announcement. Numerous environmentalists decried the choice, claiming only a tiny fraction of the energy used by Walmart is renewable. The company itself cited several statistics, among them the fact that Walmart is “the largest onsite producer of solar energy in the United States,” to justify its participation in Obama’s historic announcement. The president commended the Walmart location chosen for his speech for employing solar power, LED lighting and electric vehicle charging stations, among other renewable green resources.

Obama’s initiatives arrive shortly after the arrival of the National Climate Assessment, a report issued by the Executive Branch detailing the many risks and changes to the environment involved in climate change. While environmentalists agree that the proposed initiatives are a breath of fresh air to come out of the polluted world of green politics, some experts feel the changes will have only a minor impact on the climate’s current state of affairs. It remains to be seen whether this announcement will serve as a kind of precursor to new power plant emissions regulations expected to see the light of day sometime in June.


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