The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

Renewable Energy Gets Brief Mention During 2012 Presidential Debate

Wednesday night was a dry one for those playing renewable energy-themed drinking games during the first debate between President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. In the course of the entire 90-minute debate, which focused specifically on domestic issues with the economy and health care taking front and center, not a single mention was made of global warming or climate change by either candidate.

There were, however, sparing mentions of renewable energy sprinkled throughout the evening’s discussion, but not nearly enough to satisfy those who view it as a critical election year issue. Obama was the first to make mention of it, citing his administration’s commitment for continued investment in renewable energy. In his opening statement, Obama said, “I think it's important for us to develop new sources of energy here in America.” He went on to stress the importance of reducing the national deficit “in a balanced way that allows us to make these critical investments.” 

In contrast, Romney’s opening statement stopped short of calling for the need for expanded investments in clean energy, instead citing energy independence as the first of his five-point plan to generate job recovery throughout the United States, where the current unemployment rate is estimated at 8.3 percent.

“My plan has five basic parts,” Romney said. “One, get us energy independent, North American energy independent. That creates about 4 million jobs.” Critics of Romney’s approach to energy independence say that his plan would call only for increased use of fossil fuels and a likely scaling back of financial support for the wind and solar power industries.

Later in the debate, Obama touched briefly again on renewable energy when he said, “Governor Romney and I, we both agree that we've got to boost American energy production, and oil and natural gas production are higher than they've been in years. But I also believe that we've got to look at the energy sources of the future, like wind and solar and biofuels, and make those investments.” 

To date, the Obama administration has ramped up support for clean energy programs, investing some $40 billion into renewable energy companies. Obama has also proposed a Clean Energy Standard, which would mandate a majority of the country’s electricity – 80 percent – to be generated by non-carbon sources such as wind and solar power by the year 2035. 

Romney later criticized the Obama administration’s investments in clean energy. “In one year,” Romney said, “you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world.” He went on to say “I like green energy too” but held up Solyndra, the now-bankrupt solar manufacturer, as an example of why he prefers the idea of privatization in renewable energy.

That there was little mention about renewable energy during Wednesday night’s debate may be greatly attributed to its overall tone, which saw both candidates sparring back and forth as each attempted to clarify his stances against the other’s allegations. Debate moderator Jim Lehrer was later criticized for failing to keep the candidates in check as they continuously exceeded their allotted response time limits. 

Possibly the last opportunity for voters to press both candidates on their plans to combat global warming and climate change will arrive on October 16, when Obama and Romney are planned to square off in the second of three scheduled debates. Taking the form of a town hall meeting, the candidates will answer questions directly from audience members on a number of issues ranging from foreign to domestic policy.

Lead image: American silouhette via Shutterstock

Untitled Document

Get All the Renewable Energy World News Delivered to Your Inbox - FREE!

Subscribe to Renewable Energy World Magazine and our award-winning e-Newsletter to stay up to date on current news and industry trends.

 Subscribe Now



A Case Study in Energy-Transition Momentum

Tim King South Australia is clearly at the forefront of the global energy transition as it establishes a fast-moving model oth...

Listen Up: Can I Get Solar if my Roof is Shaded?

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World Rooftop solar panels only work when they are in direct sunlight. So if you have a partially shaded roof, the output o...

US Senate Democrats Unveil Energy Bill That Restores PTC and Extends ITC

Brian Eckhouse, Bloomberg Senate Democrats unveiled a bill that would provide more tax credits for renewable energy while killing some tax ince...

US, China Solar PV Players Team Up, Invest $100M in Chile, Uruguay and Japan

Andrew Burger Private equity infrastructure specialist Hudson Clean Energy Partners and Hong Kong-based independent power producer ...


Fronius Shifting the Limits in Solar-Plus: It’s not just about products, it’s about solutions.

Fronius USA, who just recently launched the all-new Fronius SnapINverter line this past...

IREC Announces Changes in Regulatory Team

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC), a not-for-profit organization which for...

IREC Awarded New Funding to Advance Digital Credentials

The Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) proudly announces funding for an innovat...

$100 Discount on 5-day Advanced PV Project Experience Workhop

Upcoming 5-day Workshops: Nov. 7 - 11 Feb. 6 - 10


NY Gov. Cuomo Pledges to Create Carbon Market use Solar, Wind to reduce Climate Change

This week former Vice President Al Gore joined with New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) to sign the Under 2 MOU, a directi...
clean energy

In Clean Energy, The Truth Matters

A group of about 20 protesters gathered outside the Sheraton in Burlington, Vt., early on Oct. 8 as attendees arrived...

Industry Focus: Cleantech: 1366 Technologies joins Solarcity in New York

1366 is set to build a factory just up the road (OK, it is a long road – NYS Thruway) from Solarcity.  The...


Vince Font is a freelance journalist specializing in the fields of renewable energy, high tech, travel, and entertainment. Read his blog at or follow him on Twitter @vincefont.


Volume 18, Issue 4


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon



Successfully Integrating Solar: A Proactive Approach

•      What does the increasing solar penetrati...

Solar Power Asset Management and Performance

SEIA and SEPA collaborated with industry leaders to present the first ev...

Solar Power Northeast

  From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sol...


Join us at the New Solar Power Northeast

From the team that produced Solar Power Southeast and the sold out P...

Saving Vs. Gaining

Whenever I do a national keynote speech or customized coaching session f...

SPI Brings Out The Best In Solar

Phew…...those cross-country flights sure take a lot out of a guy....


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now