TAG: President Obama

Keystone Decision Stalled Until 2014

obama_keystone

Although many expected a decision from Obama this month, we’ll not receive a definitive answer about the construction of the Keystone Pipeline until next year. The proposed Keystone XL Pipeline has inspired its fair share of debate and controversy, with opponents concerned over the negative environmental impacts the pipeline will inevitably create if it goes through. Possible damage would include the destruction of ecosystems from drilling and leaching of tar sands oil into the water supply, which is a threat to both marine life and public health. The arguments of its adversity only gained more merit after an investigation exposed… read more

The President’s Challenge

President's Eco Challenge

In his inauguration speech, President Obama made a few comments on climate change. Environmentalists excitedly thought the time had finally arrived when climate change would be addressed in a meaningful way. President Obama has made comments about the climate and environment since his inauguration speech, but the result is the same. Three weeks after President Obama pledged to focus on the climate but offered no specific second-term plans, also noting political hurdles to legislation, Former Vice President Al Gore called on President Obama to make climate change a higher priority in his second term. An easy scapegoat for the Obama administration… read more

Fight Against Pipeline

Fight Against Keystone Pipeline

Last fall, President Obama delayed the northern portion of the Keystone XL pipeline project. A project that would transport carbon-intensive crude tar sands from Canadian strip mines to refineries in Texas. Environmental groups strongly supported the delay, and are now finding themselves forced to band together again to encourage the president to stop the pipeline altogether in his second term. However, these environmental groups may have found a new ally in the fight against the Keystone XL pipeline, and it comes as a slight surprise. Zogby Analytics, a polling group, just conducted a survey showing very strong support for renewable energy… read more

Obama Wants Smarter Windows

President Backs Smart Window

In the first quarter following his re-election, President Obama’s administration is working to emphasise its ‘green’ credentials. President Obama has come up with a Better Buildings national energy efficiency initiative, and building windows are front and center in the plan. Windows have been a thorn in the side of energy efficient building designs, and though they have gotten better at insulation, they are still not at a capability which can be accepted. The Department of Energy is leading the way, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (APRA-E), which is part of the DOE, has awarded a grant of $3 million to… read more

Silence Finally Broken

Climate change issues

Despite climate change getting little attention during last year’s Presidential campaign, President Obama finally addressed the issue in a press conference a week after the election. According to MediaMatters, from August 1st to November 6th, television news coverage outside of MSNBC of climate change totaled 51 minutes. To give further perspective on the miniscule amount of time given to climate change, after the vice presidential debate, 91 minutes of television news coverage, again outside of MSNBC, were allotted to Joe Biden’s smiles and other aspects of body language toward Paul Ryan. A piece of “news” which had the lifespan of… read more

Climate Aid, Climate Change

Climate change

Despite the American presidential race being done and over with (thankfully, for some), it is still a relevant and important note to make that climate change was mentioned once during the campaigns, amidst the flurry of other, lesser topics which happened to be more alluring to the consensus. However, the election may be over, but the threat of a worsening climate due to human action is far from gone. Public opinion has experienced a massive sweep toward taking action against climate change, and it has also recognized human activity being responsible for the changing climate; over two-thirds of those polled… read more

Surprise from the EPA

Surprise from the EPA

In recent memory, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been more disappointing than gratifying in the eyes of environmental advocates. Oil and gas extraction has been a thorn in the side of the EPA. The organization has had to balance environmental concerns with economic woes. The Obama administration has not made it easier on the EPA since it has been equally unwilling to take a real stand supporting or opposing the dangerous methods of extraction. Yes, the Obama administration has maintained and prolonged the status quo of oil and gas extraction, development, and use; and yes, the EPA is subject… read more

Climate Change On The Agenda

Climate Change on the Agenda

President Barack Obama was named as TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year for 2012 recently, and was interviewed by the publication on a variety of issues as part of its article on the person of the year. In the interview, the president said the economy, immigration, climate change and energy would be at the top of his agenda for his second term. Now, being on the agenda and moving toward progressive policies are two different things, but it can be assumed the president will feel more comfortable aggressively pursuing progressive ideology. However, the economy and immigration will likely be the… read more

Executive Power

Executive Powers

It has become abundantly clear there is a dire necessity for action on combatting climate change. Whether that action is in the form of environmental policy reform and regulation, or energy policy reform, one thing is clear: maintaining the status quo is a recipe for disaster. However, the president is not a miracle worker, and is also not a solitary worker. The Constitution requires a balance of power, thus inter-dependency between the three branches, which is a double-edged blade, to say the least. The checks-and-balances system allows for moderation in the government, which is responsible, but it also allows for lack of… read more

Two Different Paths

Greener communities

Since the federal government in the United States has been met with its fair share of delays and inaction, the opportunities for individual communities to take action on conserving the environment and combating climate change have largely increased. Cities and neighborhoods are able to bypass a lot of the red tape surrounding implementing “green” strategies and programs, which makes it much easier for small-scale success. There are expected green cities, such as Portland, OR, which has excellent public transportation and an extensive network of bike trails; the city also offers financial incentives to homeowners and businesses which use solar energy; Boulder, CO,… read more