Greenwire reports on the White House's push for a clean-energy standard and makes clear an important distinction:
A clean energy standard differs from a renewable portfolio standard insofar as it permits utilities to derive electricity from more than just green fuels. Under Obama's CES, firms could meet the standard using renewable sources, nuclear power, combined cycle natural gas, and coal plants equipped to capture carbon emissions.
The White House has promised to talk more about energy, but it's important that President Obama keeps promoting renewables. Relying on nuclear power and natural gas will help decrease carbon emissions in the short term. But if the country stops after exchanging coal and oil for nuclear and natural gas, in a short while, the problems that come along with them -- environmental degradation, piles of nuclear waste -- will become much bigger problems. (It's important to note, as well, that natural gas might not be as carbon-friendly as promised.) Renewable energy sources aren't perfect, but they need to play a much bigger role than they do.