Thursday, January 21, 2010

Obama's First Year on Energy and the Environment

While President Obama has been stymied on health care for much of his first year in office, he has been quietly forging ahead on environmental policy. Carl Pope, the outgoing executive director of the Sierra Club, says most of Obama's progress has escaped media notice:
Perhaps the greatest untold story of the past year is the reversal of George Bush's eight years of environmental counterrevolution. When Bush and Cheney stopped a century-long tradition of environmental progress, the media was flabbergasted by the unrelenting intensity of the assault. But the Obama reversal has been largely unheralded (in fact, virtually unnoticed), even though it has arguably been even more intense.
Daniel Weiss of the Center for America Progress, writing in Climate Progress, likes the way Obama is forging ahead on clean energy:
During President-Elect Barack Obama’s transition, the Center for American Progress proposed a 10-point clean-energy agenda for the president and Congress that would speed the economic transformation to a clean energy economy. A review of these items today finds that all were adopted or are working their way through the process. This is a startling achievement amidst the worst economy in 70 years, two wars, and an opposition party disinterested in cooperation. President Obama did much of what he promised, and he can do more in 2010 by cajoling Congress to do its part.
Progress in Congress may be more difficult now that Republicans have enough votes to filibuster. But Obama has shown that he is willing to use his authority to move ahead on energy and the environment.


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