President Obama Wastes No Time
If anyone was still wondering whether President Barack Obama would make a significant difference in the White House, it took less than a week to settle the question. The announcement that President Obama had requested that EPA Director Lisa Jackson to look into granting California a waiver for its clean car law is, by itself, a stunning break with the policies of the past. Significantly, it's also one of four "Clean Slate" energy initiatives that more than 50,000 Sierra Club supporters asked President Obama to enact immediately upon assuming office. (You can still encourage him to act on the remaining three.)
But that was only some of the good news last week. President Obama also indicated that his administration will issue new fuel-economy standards in the coming months that will go beyond what the Bush administration had started. Equally exciting was an announcement that the EPA, for the first time ever, would oppose a coal-fired power plant permit (the Big Stone II project in South Dakota).
In addition, President Obama lifted the "global gag rule" that has prohibited U.S. funding for international organizations that speak about abortion to women and girls seeking reproductive and family-planning services. And Abraham Lincoln's Bible probably hadn't even made it back to the Library of Congress before the Interior Department announced that it was withdrawing a rule change that would have prematurely dropped gray wolves in the Great Lakes and Northern Rocky Mountains from the endangered species list.
Of course much work remains before eight years of environmental neglect can be reversed, but what a start!---------------
I promise our blog won't be just a long list of gushers for "President Obama." Still can't get over how good that sounds...