Tag Archives | Obama

Climate chaos draws closer as G8 leaders fail to act

G8 Summit“Leaders act and politicians talk. By failing to take the necessary and urgent decisive action on climate change today the leaders of the world’s most wealthy nations failed all of us, failed themselves and have risked placing the world on a pathway to runaway climate change with devastating social and environmental costs.”

“By failing to commit to the crucial mid-term targets and the US$106 billion which needs to be provided annually to help developing countries tackle climate change and fund forest protection, they have failed to agree on the most important building blocks to gain an historical agreement at the Copenhagen UN Climate Summit, which is just 150 days away.” Continue Reading →

President Obama Announces National Fuel Efficiency Policy

President ObamaPresident Obama today – for the first time in history – set in motion a new national policy aimed at both increasing fuel economy and reducing greenhouse gas pollution for all new cars and trucks sold in the United States. The new standards, covering model years 2012-2016, and ultimately requiring an average fuel economy standard of 35.5 mpg in 2016, are projected to save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program with a fuel economy gain averaging more than 5 percent per year and a reduction of approximately 900 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions. This would surpass the CAFE law passed by Congress in 2007 required an average fuel economy of 35 mpg in 2020.

“In the past, an agreement such as this would have been considered impossible,” said President Obama. “That is why this announcement is so important, for it represents not only a change in policy in Washington, but the harbinger of a change in the way business is done in Washington. As a result of this agreement, we will save 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the lifetime of the vehicles sold in the next five years. And at a time of historic crisis in our auto industry, this rule provides the clear certainty that will allow these companies to plan for a future in which they are building the cars of the 21st century.” Continue Reading →

ESA Protections Restored by President Obama

Polar Bear

During remarks at the Department of the Interior today, President Obama announced he was signing a memorandum to “help restore the scientific process to its rightful place at the heart of the Endangered Species Act.” The memorandum, which the White House sent out this afternoon, reverses a move made by the Bush administration in December.

Audubon decried the Bush rule as most significant, detrimental change to the Endangered Species Act in years. Last December, Audubon urged then President-elect Obama to take this action. Continue Reading →

President Obama Urged to Support Mercury Treaty by Green Groups

Today, at a meeting with state department officials, green groups will recommend that the U.S. Government support a legally binding treaty on mercury at the United Nations meeting next week in Nairobi, Kenya. The groups plan on distributing a letter signed by 50 U.S.-based groups and another 40 abroad, urging President Obama (and copied to Secretary of State Clinton, CEQ Director Sutley and EPA Administrator Jackson) to support a mercury treaty.

“The upcoming UNEP Governing Council meeting will provide the Obama administration with its first opportunity on the world stage to demonstrate a real change in the U.S. approach to international environmental issues,” said Michael Bender, a drafter of the letter, and co-coordinator for the Zero Mercury Working Group, a coalition of 75 groups around the world promoting mercury reduction. Continue Reading →

Obama/Schwarzenegger Plan for Millions of Plug-In Electric Cars

Electric Cars

At his first White House press conference Monday President Obama declared “the days of Washington dragging its heels are over” and ordered an immediate review of the Bush administration’s refusal to give California authority to enforce tough new emission and fuel efficiency standards on gas and diesel powered automobiles.

For more than two years California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has sought to impose stricter standards on automobile manufacturers in an effort to spur adoption of plug-in electric cars. The Obama administration signaled it will grant California’s request in a matter of weeks. Eighteen other States, representing nearly half the nation’s population, have indicated they will follow California’s lead – establishing the framework for a new nationwide market for plug-in electric cars. Continue Reading →