RECOMMENDATIONS AND REPORTS
The reports and recommendations are flying fast and furious.
Everybody knows what the incoming administration should do.
Example: The SaveOurEnvironment.Org coalition released Transition to Green; Leading the way to a healthy environment, a green economy and a sustainable future, a 390+ page report. (WITH NO PICTURES!)
It’s a nonstop series of “Environmental Transition Recommendations for the Obama Administration.” It’s really a tour de force of actions to undo what the last 8 years has done, guidelines on energy and the environment for every bureaucratic nook and cranny of official Washington.
In the realm of energy, the coalition’s goals break no new ground: Build New Energy, develop Energy Efficiency and move away from Old Energy. It also calls for a cap-and-trade system with a strict cap on emissions and the auctioning of 100% of excess allowances so as to fund New Energy and Energy Efficiency.
There is one unique aspect of the report. It’s insight into the dense D.C. bureaucracy and its assignment of separate administrative, legislative and budgetary goals for each bureaucratic cubbyhole offers a prescription for action more comprehensive than any other of the documents so far offered up for the new administration’s holiday reading pleasure that NewEnergyNews has yet seen.
Another example: The Alliance For Appalachia and many other anti-coal groups are urging the Obama adminstration to “…think first of the communities impacted by coal when selecting appointees for key positions.”
The anti-coal groups are especially concerned that people who understand the urgency of their stand against coal be appointed to crucial jobs like Secretary of the Interior, Director of the Office of Surface Mining, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Mine Safety and Health and Environmental Protection Agency head.
Considering that coal is the most climate change-inducing energy form and one of the most environmentally degrading pollutants in modern life, the groups’ concern is understandable. As Ted Turner told Charley Rose, nuclear MIGHT kill you but coal WILL.
Teri Blanton, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth: "For far too long, the regulatory agencies have been led by people with close ties to the coal industry, people who seem to have forgotten that their responsibility is to protect human health and the environment, not the profits of the coal operators. The new administration needs to break this cycle and appoint regulators who will put our land, water, and people first…"
The aims of both coalitions and the many others releasing reports and position papers and white papers and studies and findings are noble. And there will be more to come.
The Global Green Solar Report Card, scheduled for public release at the December UN conclave in Posnan, Poland, is a highly anticipated product of months of dedicated research, rumored to be a richly informative and unwaveringly frank look at the world’s incipient if as yet inadequate efforts to develop its solar energy resources.
Here is the only recommendation NewEnergyNews can think to add to the ongoing dedicated efforts: Recycle all the paper.
The Mountain. By Steve Earle. With Thanks Giving to the folks fighting for wind at Coal River Mountain. From pennyreddog via YouTube.
Leading Environmental Groups Work With Obama’s Team To Tackle Top Issues; Groups provide recommendations to transition team focusing on energy, climate and economy
November 25, 2008 (SaveOurEnvironment.Org Coalition)
Dozens of Groups Nationwide Call for an Obama Administration That’s Fair on Coal
November 25, 2008 (Alliance for Appalachia)
- The SaveOurEnvironment.Org coalition: Clean Water Action; Defenders of Wildlife; Earthjustice; Environment America; Environmental Defense Fund; Friends of the Earth; Greenpeace; Izaak Walton League; League of Conservation Voters; National Audubon Society; National Parks Conservation Association; National Tribal Environmental Council; National Wildlife Federation; Native American Rights Fund; Natural Resources Defense Council; Oceana; Ocean Conservancy; Pew Environmental Group; Physicians for Social Responsibility; Population Connection; Population Action International; Rails-to-Trails Conservancy; Sierra Club; The Wilderness Society; The Trust for Public Land; Union of Concerned Scientists
- The anti-coal coalition: Alaska Coal Working Group, Alliance for Appalachia, Alternative Transportation Club & Electric Auto Association of Northern Nevada, Appalachian Community Economics, Appalachian Citizen's Law Center, Appalachian Voices, Bardwell Consulting, Ltd, Caney Fork Headwaters Association, Center for Coalfield Justice, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, Citizen's Action Coalition of Indiana, Citizens Against Longwall Mining, Citizens Coal Council, Citizens Organizing Project, CLEAN -- Citizens Lead for Energy Action Now, Clean Power Now, Coal River Mountain Watch, CoalSwarm, Concerned Citizens of Carroll County, Cook Inletkeeper, Citizens Organizing for Resources & Environment (CORE), Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice, Dakota Resource Council, Dooda (NO) Desert Rock Organization, Earth Action Network, Energy Action Coalition, Environmental Justice Advocates (EJA), Friends of Hurricane Creek, Greenpeace US, Groundwater Awareness League, Inc., Headwater Productions, HealthLink, Heartwood, Jefferson Action Group, Karst Environmental Education & Protection, Inc., Kentuckians For The Commonwealth, Kentucky Heartwood, Law Office of Gina Hardin, LLC, Lexington Environmental Action Project (LEAP), Los Alamos Study Group, Massachusetts Climate Action Network, Mountain Justice, Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility, New York Loves Mountains, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Peace and Social Justice Committee of the Charleston Friends Meeting, Powder River Basin Resource Council, Rainforest Action Network, Save Our Cumberland Mountains, Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards, Student Environmental Action Coalition, Tallahassee Area Community, Inc, Ten Mile Protection Network, U.S. Climate Emergency Council, Valley Watch Inc., Western Organization of Resource Councils
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- The environmental coalition has published Transition to Green; Leading the way to a healthy environment, a green economy and a sustainable future, as a roadmap to guide the incoming administration in developing its energy and environment program.
- The anti-coal coalition is calling for Obama administration appointees sensitive to the impacts of coal.
The report and the call were published November 25.
The report breaks actions down into the areas of the Washington bureaucracy where they must be taken:
(1) The Executive Office’s (a) Council on Environmental Quality, (b) Office of Management and Budget and (c) Office of Science and Technology Policy
(2) Department of Defense’s (a) Army Corps of Engineers and (b) Department of the Army
(3) Department of Agriculture’s (a) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (b) Farm Service Agency (c) Forest Service (d) Natural Resources Conservation Service (e) Research, Education and Economics
(4) Department of Education
(5) Department of Energy
(6) Department of Health and Human Services’ (a) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and (b) Food and Drug Administration
(7) Department of Homeland Security
(8) Department of the Interior’s (a) Bureau of Land Management (b) Bureau of Reclamation (c) Fish and Wildlife Service (d) Minerals Management Service (e) National Park Service (f) U.S. Geological Survey
(9) Department of Justice
(10) Department of State and its U.S. Agency for Int’l Development
(11) Department of Transportation
(12) Depatment of the Treasury
(13) Environmental Protection Agency and its American Indian Environmental Office
(14) National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
The fight against coal is everywhere it is mined, from China to Appalachia.
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- The report describes itself as “Environmental Transition Recommendations for the Obama Administration.”
- The report calls for the implementation of a cap-and-trade system with strict auctioning of emissions allowances so as to establish firm limits on emissions and force emitters to pay for New Energy and Energy Efficiency implementation.
- The report puts a high emphasis on returning science to the basis for decision-making.
- The report links justice, health and heritage matters with environmentalism.
- Guiding Principles of the report:
(1) Economic Vitality, Clean Energy, and Climate Solutions Go Hand-in-Hand
(2) Social Justice Requires Environmental Justice
(3) Science Should Have a Primary Role in Safeguarding Our Environment
(4) Integrity Must Be Returned to Environmental Governance
- Top Areas for Priority Action in the report
(1) Clean Energy and Climate Change
(2) The Federal Budget and Stimulus Legislation
(3) The White House as a Leader on Clean Energy and the Environment
(4) Putting the Right People in the Right Jobs
- Actions suggested for the Department of Energy in the report:
(1) Develop cost-effective Energy Efficiency
(2) Build New Energy in an environmentally responsible way
(3) Cut funding for Old Energy (fossil fuels and nuclear)
- The worst of the Old Energies is coal. It is responsible for more climate change and other environmental degradation than any of the others.
- Things the anti-coal groups want the world to know about coal:
(1) Coal is neither cheap nor abundant.
(2) Coal consumes and pollutes our water.
(3) Coal kills people and the planet.
(4) Coal poses unacceptable risks to rate payers.
(5) Coal dependence delays the transition to efficiency and renewables.
(6) Coal hurts our health and economy.
(7) Coal impairs visibility at national parks.
(8) Coal keeps poor people impoverished.
(9) Coal causes cultural genocide.
(10) Coal threatens our grandchildren.
(11) Coal threatens local governance.
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- Coalition joint statement: "In November, Americans made their preference clear that the federal government has a critical role to play in unleashing homegrown, innovative energy solutions that would create new jobs, reduce global warming pollution and cut our nation's dependence on oil…We welcome this opportunity to collaborate with the transition team, and to work with President-elect Obama to move America forward and re-engage with the international community to reverse eight years of environmental neglect."
- Shannon Anderson, Powder River Basin Resource Council: "Unfortunately for our members who live in the Powder River Basin, increased coal mining has come with significant costs to our air quality and our way of life…The mines are woefully behind on reclamation compliant with federal law and some impacts to livestock and wildlife habitat will never be reversed. We urge the Obama Administration to not just generate permits but to balance interests in a manner that will be protective of places and people in Wyoming and elsewhere."