Watching the news from Florida last week, it was pretty much all about presidential appointees (which has been disappointing, though it was nice to hear him say he screwed up), and the economic stimulus plan – which isn’t going nearly as bipartisanly as I would have hoped, though thank you to the Senate for trying harder than the House and showing a tad more wisdom on that.
But what really strikes me is what nobody’s hearing about. I do read the EarthJustice blog, because I’ve done some legal work for them over the years. They’re tracking the Obama administration very closely, and he and his people have been doing serious things for the environment and continue to do them almost every day since they’ve been in office. These aren’t really getting reported in the news, but it’s just a reminder to me of why I wanted to elect this guy. He actually cares enough, in the midst of all this other economic and political stuff, to make sure these environmental issues are taken care of.
A partial list in just the first two weeks of office:
– Ordered the EPA to re-review CA and other states’ request for higher fuel efficiency standards for vehicles
– Directed the Dept. of Transportation to finalize its own long-awaited federal fuel efficiency standards
– Ordered the EPA to release its long-stalled report on dioxin toxicity
– Removed the federal government’s support for a case before the Supreme Court allowing higher mercury emissions from power plants, which may hopefully lead to it being dropped
– Directed DOE to create energy efficiency standards for dozens of household appliances
– Cancelled 100,000 acres of oil and gas leases near pristine wilderness in the West that were pushed through at the last minute by Bush
– Sent representatives to the international global warming conference in Poland to work constructively for solutions
– Has put all of Bush’s last-minute environmental directives on hold for review
Just reading about this makes me feel a lot better. Finally, it feels like someone up there cares. Makes me wonder what all else he’s up to that isn’t getting reported in the news…