Obama-Energy-Policy-588x386SUN DAY Campaign issued an update press release on energy in the Obama years, in the President’s first term. It compares data from the December 2012 Monthly Energy Review published by the U.S. Energy Information Administration with 2008 data, the last year of the Bush administration. Renewable energy sources and natural gas expanded rapidly while coal, nuclear power, oil imports and use, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions all declined significantly.

Domestic energy production from renewables grew by 24% with wind and solar more than doubling in output. During the same period, nuclear power output declined by nearly 5% and domestic coal production dropped by 13%.  Total energy use declined by 4%, petroleum consumption decreased by 7%, CO2 emissions dropped by 9%, and imports of crude oil and petroleum products fell by 17%.

In Obama’s first term, total domestic energy production from all sources increased by 8%. Domestic natural gas and crude oil production grew by 19% and 29% respectively. Renewable energy sources (electric and thermal) accounted for 11% of domestic energy production in 2012 compared to 10% in 2008, providing 10% more energy than nuclear power.

During the first four years of the Obama Administration, hydropower production grew by 7%, geothermal by 18%, biofuels by 41%, solar by 138%, and wind by 149%. Only biomass dipped, and by less than a percent.

Hydropower accounted for 30% of domestic energy production from renewable sources in 2012, followed by biomass (28%), biofuels (22%), wind (15%), geothermal (3%), and solar (2%). EIA data does not account for distributed, non-grid connected applications, somewhat understating solar capacity.

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