Big green groups were wholly delighted that voters elected Barack Obama as the next president of the United States on Nov. 4.

Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council: “It sure feels good once again to be an environmentalist. Just the sight of people going to the polls was a welcome reminder that President Bush’s unrelenting assault on our natural heritage will soon come to an end. And if that weren’t uplifting enough, there is the stunning outcome of the voting itself. An advocate for the environment, Barack Obama, will be the next president of the United States. Talk about transformation! … Barack Obama’s election is a huge win for everyone exhausted from playing defense. Count us among them. It rekindles our hope that environmental protection may be restored to its rightful place as a treasured American value.”

Fred Krupp, President, Environmental Defense Fund: “Elections are about change and this election offers us the greatest opportunity we have ever had to change course on global warming.”

Cathy Duvall, Political Director, Sierra Club: “Yesterday ‘New Energy for America’ trumped ‘Drill Baby Drill.’ Barack Obama made this election about hope, change, and opportunity. … Obama spoke of using more clean energy to create jobs, secure energy independence, and fight global warming, and Americans clearly approved of that message.”

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Sue Brown, Executive Director, National Wildlife Federation Action Fund: “These election results just confirm what our polls have shown — sportsmen are looking to hear about more than just gun rights. They want conservation candidates who’ll champion clean energy solutions. Now they’ll be looking to our new Congress and new president to deliver clear results on clean energy and climate.”

Larry Schweiger, President and CEO, National Wildlife Federation: “President-elect Obama and the incoming Congress offer new hope that Americans will come together to repower America with clean energy that revitalizes our economy and defends a planet in peril from the climate crisis. … The National Wildlife Federation looks forward to working with President-elect Obama and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to pass strong global warming legislation that invests boldly in clean energy, caps and cuts the pollution that causes global warming, and restores America’s natural resources. The action plan must be comprehensive and measure up to what scientists tell us is needed. After eight years of denial and delay, we can’t afford to wait any longer.”

Phil Angelides, Chair, Apollo Alliance: “It’s time for America to quit bailing and to start building. We look forward to working with President-elect Obama to forge a new path for our country, one in which a clean energy economy is a reality.”

Carter Roberts, CEO, World Wildlife Fund: “We look forward to working with the new president and his administration to implement the progressive environmental policies which he championed throughout his campaign — policies that will not only help us avoid catastrophic climate change, but will jumpstart the global economy and restore America’s reputation as a leader in solving the most serious problems confronting our world and future generations. … For too long, the world has looked to the U.S. for leadership on the climate crisis, only to be met with shallow excuses and indifference. With today’s historic election, we are optimistic that those days are behind us.”

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Kevin Knobloch, President, Union of Concerned Scientists: “On so many levels, this is a historic moment. President-elect Barack Obama promises positive, productive leadership on many issues members of the Union of Concerned Scientists care deeply about — building a clean energy economy; reengaging in international negotiations on global warming and nuclear weapons; and restoring the integrity of science in federal policymaking.”

Steven Sanderson, President and CEO, Wildlife Conservation Society: “We congratulate President-Elect Barack Obama and Vice President-Elect Joe Biden for their historic election to lead our nation as we face tremendous challenges at home and abroad. Our nation is positioned to be a world leader in saving wildlife and wild places across the globe, including policies to address climate change. The WCS looks forward to working with the new administration and Congress on nonpartisan efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing rates of deforestation which may account for 20 percent of all global carbon emissions. Efforts such as these are good for both wildlife and humanity, which share a common future as creatures inhabiting the same planet.”

John Passacantando, Executive Director, Greenpeace USA: “We congratulate Barack Obama on his historic election as President of the United States. He has demonstrated the once-in-a-generation ability to unite America behind a common vision. It is a vision that the United States urgently needs now to solve the triple challenge of the energy, economic and global warming crises. … Americans weren’t fooled by the millions of dollars the oil and coal companies spent during the election to derail a solution, or by last-minute scaremongering about the financial costs of cleaning up our economy. President-Elect Obama said that the change we need includes putting people back to work by solving global warming and investing in a clean energy future and Americans responded to that vision in historic numbers. For eight years, the international community tried to solve global warming while this country’s leadership sat on the sidelines. We look forward to showing a waiting world that America is back and ready to lead.”

Trip Van Noppen, President, Earthjustice: “We congratulate president-elect Obama and applaud the choice of the American people to move in a different direction on the environment than that of the last eight years. We may be eight years behind, but better late than never to address the pressing problems of global warming, reliance on fossil fuels, and threats to our air, water, natural places and native wildlife. We’re heartened that we now have a chance to see some real stewardship of America’s natural gifts once again from the highest office in the land.”

John Flicker, President and CEO, Audubon Society: “Voters in this historic election cast their ballots not only for change, but for a new era of hope for our environment, and the people, birds, and other wildlife that depend on it. Washington has been ignoring critical environmental issues for too long. President-elect Barack Obama and a more environmentally aware Congress offer the promise of leadership and fundamental change that could usher in new protections for America’s great natural heritage, and a new lease on life for species in decline.”

Rodger Schlickeisen, President, Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund: “For the first time in nearly a decade, we can look to the future with a sense of hope that the enormous environmental challenges we face will begin to be addressed and that our air, land, water, and wildlife — and the overall health of our planet — will not be sacrificed to appease polluting industries and campaign contributors. … Much damage has been done and there is much work to do, but we now have something that’s been absent for eight years: hope.”

Anna Aurilio, Washington, D.C., Office Director, Environment America: “This election pitted the energy policy of last 30 years against that of the next 30 years. From Sen. Obama on down the ballot, the candidates who won were talking about a clean energy future, and voters understood that this was the key to a stronger economy, a more secure world, and the solution to global warming.”

Brent Blackwelder, President, Friends of the Earth U.S.: “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, League of Conservation Voters: “America embraced change today, and the planet will be better for it.”

William H. Meadows, President, Wilderness Society: “America awoke today to the promise of a new political reality, one based not in divisiveness but in unity. President-elect Obama has said he will listen to the people. As people who work to protect the 628 million acres of parks, forests and other public lands that we own together as Americans, nothing could be more important. Our great American landscapes are a fitting symbol of both our diversity and our unity. They are a great gift that we all — Americans of every culture, race, geography, age and belief — are given at birth. And today, with the stewardship of these lands passing to a new President, we must rededicate ourselves to working to protect these lands — together.”

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