Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Obama Wins - Environment & Energy Reactions And Further Details

Nov 4: Following the victory in the historic and remarkable Presidential race, President-Elect Obama will now face the stark reality of addressing enormous environmental and energy issues facing the U.S. and the world; all within the backdrop of a global financial crisis. Obama said it well in his victory speech, "For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime -- two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century. . . This victory alone is not the change we seek. It is only the chance for us to make that change. And that cannot happen if we go back to the way things were. . . Let's resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long."

Major environmental organizations reacted positively to an Obama Presidency. Audubon Society said, the change offered "a new era of hope for our environment, and the people, birds, and other wildlife that depend on it." The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) said they are "looking forward to quick and decisive action to combat climate change." The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said the Obama election "represents a new day for environmentalists." National Wildlife Federation (NWF) said, "This election was powered by a voting public that wants dramatic and meaningful change, especially for a new energy future. . ." Sierra Club said, "voters solidly rejected policies of the past in favor of energy policies of the future."

The American Petroleum Institute (API) issued a brief statement saying, “America’s oil and natural gas industry looks forward to working with President-elect Barack Obama and Congress to deliver a comprehensive and realistic energy policy that encourages development of all domestic energy sources, including oil and natural gas, for the benefit of consumers." The U.S. Chamber of Commerce vowed to work with President-elect Barack Obama and the new Congress "to help quickly restore economic growth, ensure a smooth transition of power, and tackle the many serious issues facing the country." The Chamber also urged "the outgoing Congress and administration to quickly enact additional economic stimulus measures during a lame duck session that will save and expand jobs in critical industries such as autos, housing, infrastructure, and trade."

Reportedly a transition team is working aggressively and key staffers for the new administration could be announced soon. Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) and former aide to President Bill Clinton has reportedly accepted the role of chief of staff. The organization Beyond Pesticides, posted an article outlining some possible names being mentioned for EPA Administrator include: Mary Nichols, a former Natural Resources Defense Council lawyer and senior official in the Clinton EPA who currently chairs the California Air Resources Board; Kathleen McGinty, former Al Gore aide and first chair of the Clinton Administration’s Center for Environmental Quality who currently serves as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP); and, Dan Esty, a current top energy advisor to the Obama campaign and former George H.W. Bush EPA official; as candidates for the top EPA position.

Beyond Pesticides says others in the blogosphere have pointed to Robert Kennedy Jr., professor of environmental law and co-director of the Pace Environmental Litigation Clinic and founder and chairman of the Waterkeeper Alliance; Robert Sussman, Deputy EPA Administrator under the Clinton Administration and currently a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress; and, Bradley Campbell, environmental lawyer and former Commissioner of the New Jersey (DEP).

WIMS previously outlined some of the highlights of the Obama plans for energy, environment and climate [See WIMS 10/21/08]. Complete details on the energy, environment and climate change proposal are contained in the documents referenced below.

Access the Obama victory speech (
click here). Access a release from Audubon (click here). Access a release from UCS (click here). Access a release from NRDC (click here). Access a release from NWF (click here). Access a release from Sierra Club (click here). Access the statement from API (click here). Access a release from the U.S. Chamber (click here). Access the Beyond Pesticides article (click here). Access a UK Telegraph article outlining a number of possible Obama Cabinet appointees (click here). Access the overview of the Obama New Energy for America Plan (click here). Access the details of the Obama Energy Plan (click here). Access the details of the Obama Environmental Plan (click here). Access the Energy Speculation Plan (click here). Access the Wildfire Prevention Plan (click here).