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The Obama Victory: America Enters the 21st Century

Frances Beinecke

Posted November 4, 2008

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It makes me happy to write these words: an advocate for the environment will be the next president of the United States.

Talk about transformation.

America is hungry for bold change. Now we have the opportunity to bring it about. Most significantly, President-elect Barack Obama has made it clear that he wants to usher in a new energy future built on clean power and highly efficient cars. We may be eight years late, but America is finally poised to enter the 21st century.

Before I go further, I have to say that NRDC is a tax-deductible, non-partisan organization and, as such, we did not -- and cannot -- endorse specific candidates.

But I can tell you this: Barack Obama's election is a huge win for everyone exhausted from playing defense during the Bush years. It rekindles our hope that environmental protection may be restored to its rightful place as a treasured American value. 

On the most important issues of the day -- from global warming controls to clean energy solutions to wilderness preservation -- President-elect Obama campaigned on behalf of far-sighted policies that NRDC has championed for years.

Still, my excitement over this sea change is tempered by America's dire financial straits. Undoubtedly President-elect Obama's top priority will be jumpstarting our economy. The good news is that this does not mean that environmental concerns need to be sidelined. Indeed, addressing our energy and climate future is one of the biggest economic opportunities America has right now.

That's why we've got to make sure that Obama's New Energy for America Plan goes right to the top of the national agenda -- along with its commitment to creating five million clean energy jobs, putting a million hybrid cars on the road, scaling up renewable energy, and capping global warming pollution.

NRDC will be pressing the White House to tackle this do-or-die issue in its first 90 days. But then comes the hard part: we'll still have to move legislation through the new Congress where the same old polluters -- Big Oil and Big Coal -- will be lying in wait.

These next months of flux offer both opportunity and urgency. NRDC will urge our leaders not only to create a bold energy plan for the 21st century, but to launch it in time to achieve the biggest economic and environmental dividends possible. We must strike swiftly.

You can help us in this critical work by telling your elected officials that the work of putting America on a clean energy path must start on Day One.

 

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Comments

Jennifer AlmquistNov 5 2008 08:54 AM

America is waking up - to a new day of hope and the realization that we have a hard road ahead. Our shared passion for protecting the planet, and our dreams of a world in balance, must transform into action. Shirtsleeves rolled up, eyes on the horizon, we must each commit to a higher level of activism and support. We turn to groups like NRDC for guidance and strength as we stumble from darkness into light. Use our combined muscle and help us find the path to a cleaner, more sustainable world where all life is truly cherished and our future glows like a beacon.
Jennifer Almquist

sean beckNov 5 2008 02:25 PM

how is this? a country elects a democrat,no matter what his or her name is makes no difference. do you really believe electing a republican was possible after the last eight years? give it up already.obama doesnt represent change until change actually happens.

Claire VoianteNov 6 2008 11:09 AM

I am certainly excited about what an Obama presidency will bring to our beleaguered nation. He is very articulate to be sure, and seemingly has the intellect and composure to be successful in the highest office of the most powerful nation on earth. However, I am a little skeptical about his level of experience, alleged ties to unsavory organizations and religious affiliations. I voted for him, primarily because of bitterness at the incompetence of the Bush administration. I remain disenfranchised with America so far in the 21st Century, and came across a political graphic that does a fairly good job in capturing this sentiment.

http://www.cafepress.com/usa21stcentury

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Switchboard is the staff blog of the Natural Resources Defense Council, the nation’s most effective environmental group. For more about our work, including in-depth policy documents, action alerts and ways you can contribute, visit NRDC.org.

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