Tag Archives: Environment

Obama then and now: Opens Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time

cross-posted from T-Time

Then: “When I’m president, I intend to keep in place the moratorium here in Florida and around the country that prevents oil companies from drilling off Florida’s coasts,” Obama told reporters in Jacksonville in late June. “That’s how we can protect our coastline and still make the investments that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and bring down gas prices for good.” Candidate Obama 2008

Now: This announcement is part of a broader strategy that will move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels and foreign oil to one that relies more on homegrown fuels and clean energy. And the only way this transition will succeed is if it strengthens our economy in the short term and long term.

He added: “To fail to recognize this reality would be a mistake.” (today’s announcement)


Obama to allow gas and oil drilling off Virginia coast

President Obama is set to announce that he will allow oil and gas drilling 50 miles off Virginia’s coast, including a possible sale two years from now of leases off the state’s shores.

The decision, which Obama will announce with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar at Andrews Air Force Base this morning, ends a long-standing ban on drilling along much of the East Coast, from Delaware to central Florida.

Obama’s move will represent a victory for Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who campaigned last year on making the state the “Energy Capital of the East Coast” and using proceeds from drilling to pay for transportation. (Congress would still need to pass a bill allowing Virginia to receive royalties.)

Most Virginia leaders — regardless of political party — have expressed interest in drilling for oil and natural gas, including both U.S. Sens. Jim Webb and Mark. Warner and most members of the state’s congressional delegation.

But environmental groups and some Democratic members of Congress, including U.S. Reps. James P. Moran Jr. of Northern Virginia and Robert C. Scott of Hampton Roads, say they worry that possible spills and new infrastructure onshore and off could harm plants, animals, tourism and the naval base in Norfolk, the world’s largest.

more here: Washington Post

and here:  Obama proposes opening Alaska coastal areas to offshore drilling


Replay: President Obama Speaks on “Energy Security”

March 31, 2010 11:05 AM EDT

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Young People Grade Obama’s First Year

Posted by: Audiegrl

Nancy Lublin/DoSomething.org~Despite disappointment on some key issues, majority of young people would still vote for President Obama.

Today is the 1 year anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration, so DoSomething.org asked young people whether they think President Obama “made the grade” during his first year in office. Their responses garnered some interesting results.

According to the survey results, young adults do not feel that President Obama has adequately delivered on key campaign promises like ending the war in Afghanistan and addressing gay rights policy issues. However, on issues more directly relevant to teens, Obama garners significantly more support. Almost 62% of teens surveyed support Obama’s plans for making college more accessible, and 63.4% approve his decision to focus on more comprehensive sex ed programs. Similarly, 58.9% support a plan to allow young people to remain on their parents’ health coverage through the age of 26.

Despite this hesitation with his early policy decisions, the majority of young adults surveyed say that they would still vote for President Obama tomorrow, even though 65.1% revealed that they did not think Obama deserved the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009. The first lady, on the other hand, had the widest margin of support from those surveyed, with 74.3% believing that Michelle Obama is adequately fulfilling her job as a national role model.

Young adults were split in support over Obama’s bank bailout decisions with 41% against, 36.7% in support of, and 22.3% unsure. They were similarly unsure of how Obama has handled global warming and environmental concerns, with 47% against, 23% in support of, and 30% unsure.

The survey goes on to highlight those issues that young adults feel should be the top three priorities for President Obama in 2010. The Economy (70.1%) came in as the biggest priority, with the Wars in Iraq & Afghanistan (51.7%) and Education (47.8%) also playing a huge role.

The complete report can be viewed at www.DoSomething.org.

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The Daily Show w/Jon Stewart: Fright Club

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Destroyed US town a model of eco-living as it rebuilds

posted by GeoT

GREENSBURG, Kansas (AFP) – With all eyes on US efforts to combat climate change at next week’s UN summit in Copenhagen, one Kansas town is going green in a big way — and setting an example for American communities.

On the evening of May 4, 2007, a category-five tornado swept through the rural midwestern town of Greensburg, killing nine people and obliterating 95 percent of the urban landscape, including the school, the hospital and more than 900 houses.

But this community of 1,400 is rebuilding stronger than ever, in a remarkable comeback billed by Greensburg GreenTown — a grassroots organization involving town residents, local officials and business owners — as a “model for sustainable building and green living.”

Sign welcomes visitors to Greensburg, December 1 in Greensburg, Kansas.

In the wake of disaster, local leaders vowed to rebuild their town as the first in the United States to have all municipal projects constructed to the highest environmental and efficiency design standards.

The efforts have attracted green experts and enthusiasts from around the world because of the Greensburg’s environmentally sustainable principles through renewable energy.

Whereas previously the town’s only pull was having the world’s largest hand-dug well, it now hopes to put itself on the map for eco-living.

full story here:

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Your Guide to Earth-Friendly Halloween Candy

Posted by Audiegrl
goinggreen500-vegan-bagWhen they ring the bell, trick-or-treaters give us two simple choices: smell my feet or give me something good to eat. Given the options, we have scoured the candy stores and organic markets to find a bevy of delicious, earth-friendly treats to offer the boos and ghouls. You’ll have all the neighbor kids tricked, unknowingly devouring goodies made with natural ingredients!

Click here to find out!

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Over 1,000 GreenGov Ideas and Counting!

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Message from Secretary of Energy Steven Chu

Earlier this week, we launched the GreenGov Challenge – a new way for federal employees and military personnel to help green our government. The response thus far has been tremendous, but I know there are many more of you that we still need to hear from.

Energy efficiency is an issue I’m passionate about, and it is a major focus for the Department of Energy. For the next few decades, energy efficiency will be our most effective tool for reducing our carbon emissions, and the best way to reduce energy bills for America’s families. Specific ideas on how to save money and energy are especially welcome.

chu-and-obamaI know many federal employees share my passion and have great ideas for how to help the government become greener. Many have shared great ideas already on my Facebook page.

The GreenGov Challenge is a way for you to have your ideas heard. Ideas can be submitted through October 31st. We recognize that some of the best ideas on how to save energy may not be new, but they are simply not widely adopted. I want to hear from you what you think are the most cost-effective ways to save energy and money as well as new ideas. The top ideas will be evaluated and put into action shortly thereafter.

I hope you will take a moment to think about the energy saving opportunities around you, to dream up new ways to solve them, and to be a part of making this effort a success. I look forward to reviewing your ideas and tackling this challenge with you.

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A Bottom-Up Approach to Greening Government: Take the Greengov Challenge

Posted by TheLCster

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On Monday, October 5th, 2009, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order on Federal Sustainability – and in doing so, committed the Federal government to lead by example, practice what we preach and help build a clean energy economy through how we operate.

To harness the collective wisdom of the more than 1.8 million civilian employees and our men and women in uniform, we’re launching the GreenGov Challenge, an online participatory way for Federal employees to suggest clean energy ideas and vote on others.

Some of the top ideas will be presented to the Steering Committee on Federal Sustainability – a group comprised of a senior official from each agency who is responsible for delivering among other things, each agency’s sustainability plan.

Though anyone can see your ideas, only Federal employees can participate – so this is your chance to positively impact how your agency will meet its 2020 greenhouse gas emissions reduction target.

Be part of the GreenGov Challenge and help green our government!

The GreenGov challenge runs from Oct. 19th — 31st

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New Green Ad: From Silicon Valley to The Chamber Of Commerce

Posted by Audiegrl
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The new ad, designed to look like an email from Silicon Valley to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is signed by Silicon Valley Joint Venture president Russell Hancock and Silicon Valley Leadership Group president Carl Guardino.

silicongreenAD-largeTo: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce
From: Silicon Valley
Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 8:37 AM
Subject: Moving Forward on Clean Energy

Silicon Valley is ready to lead the world in the next great technological revolution: clean energy. It’s the best route to prosperity and jobs for America, and to less imported oil. But we need strong policies from Washington that open up the market for this new opportunity.

That’s why we’ve been so disappointed by the opposition of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to clean energy legislation now moving through Congress. While you are a valued business partner on many issues, the San Jose Mercury News called you a “dinosaur when it comes to clean energy”. And companies from PG&E to Apple have resigned from the Chamber over your extreme position on climate and energy legislation.

As our European and Asian competitors move forward to build the next generation of clean energy technology, the U.S. Chamber seems mired in false debates over settled science and a 20th Century approach to energy. It’s time for the “voice of business” to move forward, embrace a market-based cap on carbon pollution, and help lead a new century of American prosperity.

If you won’t, other cutting edge companies are likely to move forward without you — and to speak out in favor of policies that help us create a new, healthy energy future.

Signed,

Russell Hancock, President & CEO

Russell Hancock, President & CEO

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Carl Guardino, President & CEO

Carl Guardino, President & CEO

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Silicon Valley Puts More Pressure On The Chamber Of Commerce Over Climate Change

Link to the full ad (PDF)

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Energy Secretary Chu: ‘I Think It’s Wonderful’ That Companies Are Leaving The Chamber Over Its Denialism

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Energy Secretary Steven Chu with President Obama

Energy Secretary Steven Chu with President Obama

ThinkProgress/Zaid Jilani—Recently, there has been a “business backlash” against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for its extreme global-warming denier views. Businesses, fed up with the Chamber’s resistance to taking any sort of action to curb carbon emissions, have been leaving the business federation one after another. In the past month alone, Pacific Gas & Energy, Exelon, Public Service Company of New Mexico, and Apple have left the U.S. Chamber of Commerce over its extreme views on climate change.

Yesterday, during a solar energy event at the National Mall, Energy Secretary Steven Chu was asked by a Reuters reporter what he thought about the exodus of businesses from the Chamber. He replied by telling the reporter that he thinks it’s “wonderful” that companies are leaving:

green_dollar“I think it’s wonderful. I think that companies like that, Exelon, for example, others are saying that we have to recognize reality. In order to position the odd states in an economically competitive place and also to make the world minimize the dangers of significant climate change for our children and grandchildren we’ve got to go in this direction. So they’re saying, we can’t be a party to foot-dragging, to denials to things of that nature.”

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Apple Quits the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Over Its ‘Frustrating’ Global Warming Denialism

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“Cleantech” The next “Big Thing” for the economy?

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posted by GeoT

SAN FRANCISCO – By JORDAN ROBERTSON, AP Technology Writer
Our economy sure could use the Next Big Thing. Something on the scale of railroads, automobiles or the Internet — the kind of breakthrough that emerges every so often and builds industries, generates jobs and mints fortunes.

Silicon Valley investors are pointing to something called cleantech — alternative energy, more efficient power distribution and new ways to store electricity, all with minimal impact to the environment — as a candidate for the next boom.

And while no two booms are exactly alike, some hallmarks are already showing up.

A year into the Great Recession, innovation isn’t slowing. This time, it’s better batteries, more efficient solar cells, smarter appliances and electric cars, not to mention all the infrastructure needed to support the new ways energy will be generated and the new ways we’ll be using it.

…Big bets are being placed. The Obama administration is pledging to invest $150 billion over the next decade on energy technology and says that could create 5 million jobs. This recession has wiped out 7.2 million.

And cleantech is on track to be the dominant force in venture capital investments over the next few years, supplanting biotechnology and software. Venture capitalists have poured $8.7 billion into energy-related startups in the U.S. since 2006.

Cont’d here:

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