From an interview with Carol Browner:
What's changed in the country since you were last in government?
I think the American people have a better understanding of why we need an energy transformation. That may be the experiences of, whether it was oil prices that are not predictable or reliable, the impact on their own pocketbook. People understand that we can't continue to think about energy in the way we did in the past. It was sort of, you know, available without a lot of thought. And most Americans now know that as we look toward an economic recovery, an important part of that is going to be an energy transformation.
Are people more optimistic that this can be done?
I think there's also this great belief that we can do better, that [with] American innovation, American ingenuity, we really can build wind farms and power our cities with clean energy, with homegrown, American, renewable energy. We look around the world, and we see these things starting to happen in other parts of the world, and I think for many Americans the question becomes, why not here? And what President Obama is saying [is], absolutely here, that we can do this.