Excellent question! Now that the ballots are counted and the confetti has been swept away (and composted or recycled, of course), let’s review Barack Obama’s plans for the environment. As expected, his environmental policy is closely intertwined with our nation’s energy and economic future.
According to the Guardian, we can expect him to shred the Bush admiinistration’s policies and implement the following:
* reduce US greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and cut them by 80% by 2050–by using a cap-and-trade system.
* kickstart the US energy economy with $175 billion to create 5 million new “green” jobs with a focus on fuel-efficient car manufacturing, research funding for clean energy, and improving energy conservation in houses & buildings.
* obtain 10% of electricity from renewable sources by 2012.
Additionally, Barack Obama wants to eliminate our oil imports within 10 years by increasing fuel economy standards, promoting hybrid vehicles, and requiring oil companies to develop the 68 million acres of land they already lease but are not currently drilling on. (This last point begs the question of why why why the Republican party screamed for opening up new territory for the oil companies to drill in…)
So, climate change and energy conservation–including a re-evaluation of the transportation funding process and public mass transportation projects. What else?
According to his website, he’d like to reduce tropical deforestation, fully fund the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, place tougher regulations on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (which raise more than 40% of US livestock), support the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and the Wetland Reserve Program in the Farm Bill. He’d increase funding for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program and reform the USDA crop insurance rates so organic farmers are not penalized. Finally, Barack Obama will continue to protect National Parks & Forests by increasing their funding, increasing funds for the Land & Water Conservation Fund and the Conservation Security Program/Conservation Reserve Program to create additional incentives for private landowners to protect and restore native habitats.
Enviro-Girl sure hopes everyone has rolled up their shirtsleeves, there’s a lot to tackle–but it all looks like good stuff and should address many of the root causes of our environmental problems. To read Barack Obama & Joe Biden’s entire environmental plan, click here.