What is the best thing that Obama is planning on doing for the environment?



  1. 0 Votes

    Obama has given billions of dollars to research and development of alternative fuels and alternative energy, in the hopes that we can end our dependence on fossil fuels. This is arguably the most important thing, as we are eventually going to completely run out of fossil fuels, and they are heavy polluters for our atmosphere, which is contributing to climate change.

  2. 0 Votes

    Personally, I think the best thing Obama is doing for the environment is causing the Environmental Protection Agency to create rules on how to regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act. I know that sounds very bureaucratic and not very flashy, but I think it’s a huge step forward in the creation of a policy to deal with climate change, which is the most important environmental issue we face (in my opinion). The EPA has been regulating air pollution for decades, ever since the Clean Air Act first passed in the 1970s, and the EPA’s record has been pretty good, especially in the regulation of sulfur dioxide which causes acid rain. It was not until the Obama administration, however, that the EPA announced that it considered carbon dioxide to be an air pollutant within the meaning of the Clean Air Act. This was a controversial decision; the Bush administration refused to take this step, but Obama did, and what it means is that, if the decision is not struck down by a court, EPA can put binding limits on greenhouse gas emissions across the board. This would have two positive effects. First, it would start to get at the root of the problem, since most greenhouse gas emissions come from the power generation and transportation sectors, and if EPA can regulate tailpipes as well as power plants, we can finally make some headway on climate change. Second, and perhaps even more importantly, it will finally give the United States some international credibility on the issue of climate change, which we simply have not had since we refused to ratify the 1997 Kyoto Accords. Once we can actually point to real, binding emissions targets within our own country, Obama will have a great deal more leverage to bring other nations together, including big emitters such as China and India, to forge some kind of international consensus on climate change that actually has a chance of being effective. And it would not take a new federal law to do it because the Clean Air Act is already on the books, thus avoiding a fractious fight in Congress over a potential greenhouse gas bill.

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