Two great initiatives from Obama

Obama can do some things on his own, without waiting for congress. Looks he’s going to! He’ll need our backup though: let’s be sure to write to him and let him know how important these are.

Project proposals must consider climate as a factor

Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways…. In taking the step, Obama would be fulfilling a vow to act alone in the face of a Republican-run House of Representatives unwilling to pass measures limiting greenhouse gases.

This would give us an important tool for working to stop the pipeline and the coal trains. If, that is, congress and Big Carbon don’t find ways to do an end run. They’re already pretty worked up about it:

The result could be significant delays for natural gas- export facilities, ports for coal sales to Asia, and even new forest roads, industry lobbyists warn. “It’s got us very freaked out,” said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, a Washington-based group that represents 11,000 companies such as Exxon Mobil.

Here’s the full article, well worth reading.

$2 billion for research on getting cars off of fossil fuel

Obama will call for a $2-billion energy security trust fund dedicated to research to boost automobile efficiency, enhance battery technology and expand the use of biofuels, among other clean-energy efforts. The ultimate goal: getting the country off oil.

The trust fund’s $2 billion, spread over 10 years, would come from leases of offshore oil drilling. Congress would have to approve the trust fund, and despite the ongoing sequester and other budget battles, White House officials seemed optimistic that the plan would get a bipartisan thumbs-up. The reason: the trust fund idea actually comes from a report by a coalition of business and military leaders and enjoys support from Lisa Murkowski, the ranking Republican on the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee. But whether bipartisanship also extends to the House of Representatives is another matter.

Here’s the full article.

These initiatives will need our support. Let’s get some letters written! The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500.

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