Campaign Promises

Departments -> Energy -> Conservation

EN-1 The Promise: "Will call on businesses, government and the American people to meet the goal of reducing our demand for electricity 15 percent by the end of the next decade."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "New Energy for America" dated 09/06/08.
Status:U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data in its "Annual Energy Outlook" report for CY2012 indicated that the demand for electricity in the USA would grow by 22% from 3.877B kilowatthours in CY2010 to 4.716B kilowatthours by CY2035.

The same report indicated that residential electricity demand would grow 18% and commercial demand would grow by 28% over the same timeframe. Electricity demand in the transportation sector will reportedly triple from 7B kilowatthours in CY2010 to 22B kilowatthours by CY2035.

While President Obama did call on the nation to double its production of renewable electricity by CY2020 and double its energy efficiency by CY2030 in his 02/12/13 State of the Union address, he did not specifically call on America to reduce its electricity demand by 15% at any time during his two terms in office. A later EIA report indicates that as of the end of CY2016 and based on long-term trends and "the growing demand for chargeable electronic devices of every description," the nation's demand for electricity is expected to increase by 5% per year through CY2050.

This promise was not fulfilled.
EN-2 The Promise: "...will require governors and local leaders in our metropolitan areas to make energy conservation a required part of their planning for the expenditure of federal transportation funds."
When/Where: Barack Obama's "Plan to Make America a Global Energy Leader" dated 10/18/07
Status:The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 funded the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) Program which, in part, was designed to develop, promote, implement and manage energy efficiency and conservation projects down to the state, county and city level to improve energy efficiency in the transportation sector.

Initially funded at $3.2B under the ARRA, the EECBG had $1.8B for cities and counties, $767M for states, $54M for Indian Tribes, and $454M for competitive grants.

Title 23, Highways, of the Code of Federal Regulations (23 CFR) Section 450.316 (Metropolitan Transportation Planning Process) has long mandated "consistency of metropolitan transportation planning with applicable federal, state, and local energy conservation programs, goals, and objectives."

President Obama championed energy conservation throughout his two terms in office. To that end, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) published a Final Rule on 05/27/16 (81 FR 34049) requiring governors and local leaders to make energy conservation an integral part of their transportation plans under the aegis of the "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act" signed into law by President Obama on 06/07/12 and the "Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act" signed into law by President Obama on 12/04/15. The Final Rule states in part that states and metropolitan/non-metropolitan areas must adopt measures to "...protect and enhance the environment, promote energy conservation..."

With regard to funding being contingent upon performance, the Final Rule cited above further states: "U.S.C. Title 23 U.S.C. 104(f) and 49 U.S.C. 5305(g) authorize funds to support transportation planning at metropolitan and statewide levels. As a condition to receive this funding, requirements are established for metropolitan and statewide transportation planning under 23 U.S.C. 134 and 135 and 49 U.S.C. 5303 and 5304." These sections call for development of transportation plans and Transportation Improvement Programs (TIPs) in all States and metropolitan areas. The information collection activities to prepare federally required plans and programs, and the planning studies proposed for funding in Unified Planning Work Programs (UPWPs) and State Planning and Research (SP&R) work programs, are necessary to monitor and evaluate current and projected usage and performance of transportation systems nationwide, statewide, and in each urbanized area.

This promise was fulfilled.