Yale Environment 360 asked a series of environmental thinkers, activists, and policymakers what they think of Barack Obama's record on the environmental record so far. The overwhelming response was that they didn't think very much of it at all.
Here’s climate writer and activist Bill McKibben:
President Obama hasn't yet caused "the rise of the oceans to begin to slow" or "the planet begin to heal," and since that was his promise, I guess it's been a less-than-stellar record … He put some decent money into the stimulus plan for green energy, and then he largely seemed to lose interest, punting on the climate legislation before the Senate.
The climate bill's failure was a big sticking point with almost every person the publication talked to.
Center for American Progress' Joe Romm:
Obama's overall record on energy and the environment deserves an F. Fundamentally he let die our best chance to preserve a livable climate and restore U.S. leadership in clean energy — without a serious fight.
Mindy Lubber, who heads Ceres, a sustainability coalition:
As he's doing now in the debt ceiling and budget talks, the President could have intervened personally and earlier by using his bully pulpit to galvanize Americans and policymakers on the urgency and economic imperative for launching the clean energy transition. He also could have better leveraged very strong business and investor support for comprehensive energy and climate policies.
But he does have one chance to redeem himself.
Greenpeace Executive Director Phil Radford:
Obama's test will be whether he stands behind those in his administration who are working hard to protect the air we breathe, or caves yet again to the polluter lobbyists that still run so much of Washington. If Obama lets the coal industry and their backers in Congress block the EPA's efforts to protect our communities, our air, and our climate, he will have failed not only in his environmental promises but also in his promise to change the way our government works.
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