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Obama’s First 100 Days: An Environmental Agenda for Obama’s First 100 Days

By January 20, 2009

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Presidents are often judged on what they accomplish, or fail to accomplish, during their first 100 days in office, and Barack Obama will be no exception. As soon as Obama raises his right hand a noon today and takes the oath of office to become America’s 44th president, the clock will start ticking on his first 100 days.

The public has been using the first 100 days—that period between the inauguration on January 20 until roughly the end of April—as a benchmark to evaluate the early success and future potential of every president since Franklin Roosevelt was elected in 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, and established the artificial yardstick as a way to put pressure on Congress and gain public support for his bold agenda.

Obama has made it clear, throughout his campaign and since the election, that energy and the environment will be among the top priorities of his presidency and are likely to be woven into much of the work he intends to accomplish during his years in the White House.

Here are five things related to the environment that President Obama will need to accomplish during his first 100 days in office to fulfill his campaign promises and live up to his potential as an environmental leader:

  1. Build a Green Economy—Reviving and rebuilding the ailing U.S. economy will be Obama’s first priority, but in doing so he has a great opportunity to use his plans for clean energy investments and green jobs as catalysts to achieve that goal. Strengthening the economy and preserving the environment should go hand in hand.

  2. Get Serious about Climate Change—Obama needs to establish the United States as a global leader on climate change, starting during his first 100 days by setting ambitious goals to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, establishing programs and incentives to achieve those goals, and following that up with active leadership in international efforts to create a workable global initiative to control climate change and avoid or mitigate its most damaging effects.

  3. Create a New Clean Energy Policy--Obama understands that energy and the environment are inextricably linked, and he needs to use his first 100 days to set out a national energy policy that will serve America’s current and future energy needs and lessen our dependence on foreign oil while reducing our environmental impact.

  4. Mitigate the Bush Legacy—President George W. Bush did serious damage to the environment during his eight years in the White House, weakening, eliminating or denying environmental protections in deference to mine owners, oil companies, and other industry polluters. During the last days of his presidency, Bush administration officials continued to create new rules and establish new policies that will do untold harm to the environment and could take months or years to unravel. Obama won’t be able to solve all of these problems during his first 100 days, but he already has people working to identify problem areas and recommend strategies. He should keep that effort going until the damage is undone.

  5. Respect His Scientists—President Bush tried repeatedly to censor and muzzle government scientists: refusing to let them share their findings with taxpayers, changing their reports before releasing them to the public, and disregarding or ignoring their recommendations. Obama must make it clear that scientists in his administration are valued advisors and public servants, and that their work will not be distorted or undermined by politics.


January 20, 2009 at 11:05 am
(1) Tammy says:

Sounds like you are too much of a tree hugger for this scientist! What about the scientists that the left wing liberals silenced by threatening their jobs???

January 20, 2009 at 12:55 pm
(2) Peter says:

Well said, Tammy! The likes of Al Gore and his fawning campfollower, Larry West, have been systematically silencing the views of scientists sceptical about man-made global warming for the longest time. To add lies to deception, they’re accusing Bush of doing exactly the same. For more on this, read: How the World was Bullied Into Silence,
Bush was probably showing the politically-and financially-driven ‘scientists’ the respect they deserve. And so should we.

January 21, 2009 at 8:54 pm
(3) Ree Diculous says:

Really…? I know you have freedom of speech, but usually before you speak, educate yourself.

Skeptics are insecure about themselves, to believe smoke, lets call it, with more chemicals and heavy metals then you could possible name, have no effect on anything… might as well glue the dunce cap to your head.

Scientist know, I know, the hobo that I pass by every morning knows, that CO2, carbon dioxide, alters the planets climate, I’m surprised you and your oil fed scientist do not know that. Too much, unbearable heat, too little, ice age.

Right now, we as global citizens are producing too much… if you remember that means…. warmmmminnng.

P.S. Don’t try the whole…”Well it’s freezing here in Ohio, it’s not hot.” Try this answer for you… There is a fundamental difference between Climate and Temperature, look it up.

Oh, and if you are a skeptic, just remember whose guiding your boat. I’ll give you two names, Bush and Cheney. Think they are right for saying Global Warming is a hoax made by politicians. How about all of the money, sex, and drugs, going to Bush and his administration. If you’re going to read a book… read the whole thing!! Ignorance is bliss! :)

January 21, 2009 at 8:57 pm
(4) 2 says:

Oh, excuse me. The money, sex, and drugs, from the Oil companies, to Bush’s Administration. Because by now everyone knows almost every person Bush brought in had some financial tie to Oil Companies.

January 23, 2009 at 12:39 pm
(5) Tomas says:

it amazes me that people continue to believe that a bunch of enviornmental organizations fed by $10-20 contributions have convinced the federal govt. to continue funding bogus research despite the objections of the helpless and hopelessly outfunded oil inustry…and that scientist who devote their lives to finding the truth are far less trustworthy than political hacks.

January 25, 2009 at 2:30 am
(6) Eric Wood says:

The comments above seem to be indicative of a major problem with our country: we can’t seem to disagree without 1). honestly admit that a part of what the other sides says has some validity and 2), demonizing those that differ from us.

I’m no “tree hugger”, but I sincerely practice and believe that I should live responsibly as a resident of planet Earth.

I’m no “Man’s actions don’t effect the place we live, ” but I sincerey believe that living responsibly as a resident of planet Earth does not require me to live in a cave, wear hemp and eat to-fu.

We all need to understand that man does impact the planet, our eco-system. We need to honestly determine to what extent we impact our home and what we can prudently do to make sure that that thing we borrowed, “the planet” gets returned in as good of shape if not better when we are done.

January 25, 2009 at 2:32 am
(7) Eric Wood says:

As to the original point of this post, I do applaud President Obama’s linking of environmental projects with job creation.

My only hope is that the majority of those jobs are created in the private sector and not all be government jobs.


January 27, 2009 at 1:40 pm
(8) Peter says:

Thank you, Ree Diculous, for psychoanalyzing us sceptics. From personal experience, though, it is insecure people who prefer to believe and follow blindly mendacious loudmouths like Al Gore.
There’s evidence polar ice caps on Mars have been melting at a steady rate. Bush’s fault, I suppose.
No one is denying we have to assume some kind of responsibility for our environment. What’s immoral is the attempt by the likes of Al Gore to bully the rest of the world into thinking like him even as he makes fantastic profits from scamming gullible sheep that have swallowed his alarmism whole. His tactics would put the worst (supposedly) predatory oil company to shame.
Here’s more about how the world has been bullied into believing the great hoax about global warming: http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/7710

January 28, 2009 at 6:45 am
(9) guidoLaMoto says:

Somehow the argument doesn’t add up:
(a)Green Energy costs 3x conventional energy. New jobs in Green will mean lost jobs in conventional areas.
(b)technology to meet higher pollution standards will cost more and use more fuel, hurting the economy
(c)Green Energy Policy- see a & b above
(d)Bush policy changes involved softening some unecessarily stringent standards. The environment hasn’t suffered.
(e)Bush only accepted the good science. GW IS a hoax. Temps have been falling for 11 yrs now. When you GreenSheep gunna give it up?

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