You are here

The day after the State of the Union, Secretary Chu hosted an online town hall to talk about President Obama's clean energy agenda and answer your questions.

And while Secretary Stephen Chu answered about 10 online questions live during the one-hour online event, we received more than 200!

Over the next few days, we'll be answering some of the ones that went unanswered that day.

Below are the first three:

From Paulina Essunger over email:

What is the exact definition of a "clean energy source"? Will this definition change by 2035?

In his State of the Union address, President Obama proposed an ambitious but achievable goal of generating 80 percent of the nation’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. As the President said, "Some folks want wind and solar. Others want nuclear, clean coal and natural gas. To meet this goal, we will need them all." The Administration will be working with Congress on details of this proposal. 

A Clean Energy Standard will provide a clear, long-term signal to industry to bring capital off the sidelines and into the clean energy sector. It will grow the domestic market for clean sources of energy -- creating jobs, driving innovation and enhancing national security. And by drawing on a wide range of energy sources including renewables, nuclear, clean coal and natural gas, it will give utilities the flexibility they need to meet our clean energy goal while protecting consumers in every region of the country. 

From USAShopper through Twitter:

How much is the US gov planning to invest in renewable energy dev and research to reduce oil dependence? Is that a priority?

Breaking our dependence on oil and moving towards clean energy is critical for our prosperity, our security and our environment.  That’s why President Obama’s recent budget request included more than $8 billion for research, development, and deployment investments in clean energy technology programs. To decrease our reliance on oil, the President has also called for putting one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 and support for biofuels. And he has proposed a goal of generating 80 percent of the nation’s electricity from clean energy sources by 2035.
Through our R&D programs, the Department is accelerating research and development of advanced biofuels, which will reduce oil imports. We are also working to develop and deploy advanced vehicle technologies, promote energy efficiency and develop renewable energy technologies.

The Department of Energy isn’t the only federal agency that’s investing in renewable energy. The Department of the Interior’s 'Smart from the Start Initiative' hopes to streamline permitting of offshore wind energy on the Atlantic coast. At the same time, the Department of Agriculture is working to increase the availability of biofuels. Together with the Department of Energy, these and other federal agencies are making renewable energy research and development an important part of our energy future.

From Monica Mawlow over email:

With natural gas being the cleanest burning fuel, with excellent emissions records and safety record of natural gas vehicles, why is there more push, support and funding for electric vehicles?  Why not a more equal support of both technologies, in both the production of the vehicles and the fueling stations?

An important part of reducing America’s dependence on fossil fuels while reducing air pollution involves changing the types of energy we use to run our vehicles. As part of this overall effort, the Department of Energy is working to expand the use of natural gas vehicles. Cars that run on natural gas reduce carbon pollution, since natural gas has a lower environmental impact.

The Natural Gas Vehicle Technology Forum, led by the Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission, unites a diverse group of organizations and agencies interested in supporting natural gas vehicles and infrastructure needed to keep those vehicles running. The Department is also pursuing research into natural gas blends, expansion of alternative fuel fueling stations and the impacts of compressed natural gas vehicles on the environment.

Expanding efforts to put more electric vehicles on the road, while continuing to support natural gas vehicles, will reduce America’s dependence on fossil fuel and create a more sustainable transportation system.