Washington DC — In the final countdown until the Obama’s leave the White House, it is increasingly evident what a tremendous legacy Barack Obama has left for our planet and our families’ health. This Environment America video highlights some of his environmental accomplishments.
“As environmentalists, our mission is to remind ourselves that we borrow the world we inhabit from our children and their children. During his administration, President Obama needed few reminders of this. On behalf of our members today and future generations we owe him our gratitude and pledge to do all we can to ensure his legacy endures.” said Margie Alt, Executive Director.
President Obama protected more landscapes and water ecosystems than any president in history establishing 34 national monuments. From the Mojave Trail in California and the rocky spires of New Mexico’s Organ Mountains, to Maine’s Katahdin Lakes and Forests and the first ever national monument in the Atlantic Ocean, future generations will be able to appreciate the same natural beauty and wildlife that we do today. The president set enforceable pollution limits to restore the iconic Chesapeake Bay and he acted to ensure that the waters and forests of Minnesota’s Boundary Waters are safe from toxic mining.
“This country is blessed with spectacular landscapes, majestic waterways, and incredibly diverse ecosystems. President Obama had the foresight and the fortitude to protect many of the most sensitive and beloved places and creatures so that future generations might experience the same wonders we do today,” noted Alt.
The Administration’s limits on mercury and other toxic pollution from power plants will protect our air, our water, and our families’ health averting up to 11,000 premature deaths, 4,700 heart attacks, and 130,000 asthma attacks annually. The president’s Clean Water Rule restored protections to half our nation’s streams, which provide drinking water to 117 million Americans.
Permanently protecting most of the Arctic Ocean and key areas in the Atlantic from drilling will protect wildlife and coastal communities, save vast expanses of ocean from the threat of oil spills, and will keep fossil fuels in the ground where they must stay if we are to stave off the worst impacts of climate change.
“From the Climate Action Plan to investing in renewable energy and setting strong fuel economy standards and forging the historic Paris Climate Agreement, President Obama’s unprecedented leadership on cutting global warming emissions will ensure a brighter future for our planet.” noted Anna Aurilio, DC Legislative Director.
The historic Clean Power Plan set the first national limits on carbon pollution from power plants. Obama helped negotiate an unprecedented agreement from the Chinese to cut carbon pollution, and led the way toward the historic international Paris Climate Agreement.
President Obama’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act invested $90 billion in renewable technology and clean transportation — the largest single investment in clean energy in history. And he followed through on his commitment to clean energy by designating eight wind energy areas off the Atlantic Coast and ensuring that the nation overall uses less energy by issuing or updating efficiency standards for nearly 50 appliances.
In addition to cleaning up the power sector, the Obama Administration doubled fuel efficiency standards for cars and set tough new standards for trucks and buses all designed to reduce pollution, reduce our dependence on oil and protect our environment and our families’ health.
“History will judge the Obama years as the turning point in America’s shift to 100% renewable energy.” added Aurilio. “These years will be recognized as a time when our nation prioritized the health and well-being of America’s families. Thank you, President Obama!”