So Obama is in it for another four years, now the big question—what will he do to help climate change? The fact that Obama has indeed helped America make some strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions can bring us hope that Obama will continue to address the issue of climate change.

Wind power

Image courtesy of janie.hernandez55 on Flickr

For example, non-hydro renewable electricity generation has nearly doubled since Obama took office. Today, solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass account for about 6 percent of electricity generation, where as before Obama took office, it was 3 percent. The Obama administration has also established rules to control greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. The new emissions rule caps off carbon dioxide emissions for new power plants to 1,000 pounds per megawatt-hour. This created a great obstacle for coal plants, which are a major source of carbon dioxide emissions contributing to global warming.

In addition, the Obama administration has established new fuel economy rules.  With these new rules, today’s standards for cars will double in 12 years to 54.5 miles per gallon. Obama hopes that these new fuel standards will reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

Some people have complained that Obama has often side-stepped discussions over action on climate change, and that the Obama administration has not  “pushed aggressively for a comprehensive plan to address global warming.” It is hoped that the east coast’s recent violent storm Hurricane Sandy has brought awareness to politicians of how much climate change is taking a toll on people’s lives, their homes, their resources and the economy. I hope that this event will propel the president to develop and put into action a plan to end our dependence on fossil fuels.