Photo: Morry Gash / AP

 

“Because of what we did on this day, at this defining moment, change is coming to America,” Barack Obama promised in his victory speech after a landslide victory in his quest for the presidency.

Obama made brief reference in his speech to the dual challenges of environmental crisis and energy crisis, promising that these will be among his priorities as president.

“Even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime — two wars, a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century,” said Obama.

“There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair,” he continued.

Enviros quickly chimed in with praise for the president-elect.

Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder called the election a “historic mandate for clean energy.”

“Energy policy has never been more prominent in a national election, and rarely have the results been so clear,” said Blackwelder, whose group endorsed Obama. “Today’s landslide election of Barack Obama and pro-environment candidates across the country signals a strong rejection of the failed energy policies of the last eight years and a historic mandate for large-scale, transformational change.”

Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, which also endorsed Obama, said, “America embraced change today, and the planet will be better for it.”

A number of enviro-backed candidates claimed House, Senate, and governor’s seats as well tonight — check in at Grist’s election central for coverage, and check back here in the morning for more green wrap-up on the 2008 elections.