FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES
Obama gets elected, pushes green initiatives
After eight years of soul-withering “leadership” by George W. Bush, progressives rejoiced at the election of Barack Obama in 2008. He appointed the greenest Cabinet ever, chock-full of top-notch scientists and long-time climate advocates. His administration has made massive green stimulus investments, set EPA moving forward to regulate CO2, pushed green jobs, promoted eco-friendly retrofits, established new fuel-economy rules and efficiency standards, launched national retrofit programs, delayed mining and drilling permits, set new energy standards and goals for all federal departments, created a White House garden and farmers market, and oh so much more. He hasn’t put a definite end to mountaintop-removal mining. He hasn’t stopped Big Ag in its tracks. Most gallingly, he hasn’t convinced the whole world (and the U.S. Senate) to sign on to an international climate treaty that will save the planet. But during less than a year in office, he’s definitely made his mark on the decade.