Environmental Groups Work With Obama’s Team on Top Issues

WASHINGTON, 11/25/2008: Nearly 30 environmental, science and conservation groups presented their top policy recommendations to President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team yesterday. Representing millions of Americans, the groups provided a document laying out recommendations on key federal agencies and issues, including land, air, water, oceans and public health.

The document reflects President-elect Obama’s early indications that he will take bold measures to harness American ingenuity to solve the economic, climate and energy crises. The document demonstrates agreement with Obama’s call to increase investment in clean, renewable energy as his top priorities. Such investments would re-power America and help stabilize the economy over the long-term.

“In November, Americans made their preference clear that the federal government has a critical role to play in unleashing homegrown, innovative energy solutions that would create new jobs, reduce global warming pollution and cut our nation’s dependence on oil,” the groups said in a joint statement. “We welcome this opportunity to collaborate with the transition team, and to work with President-elect Obama to move America forward and re-engage with the international community to reverse eight years of environmental neglect.”

The organizations support the establishment of a federal carbon cap-and-trade system, which would limit carbon emissions and provide incentives for companies to reduce global warming pollution. Such a system is critical to address climate change and raise revenue needed to transition to a clean energy economy, according to the groups.

The document urges the new administration to act quickly to restore scientific integrity at federal agencies. Under the Bush administration, political appointees routinely distorted and suppressed the work of federal scientists to justify administration decisions. The groups recommend that President-elect Obama should ensure that federal science agencies’ decisions will be based on science, not politics.

The groups also called on the incoming administration to reinvest in America’s commitment to protecting human health and the environment. Investing in clean water, clean air and conservation not only makes sound fiscal sense, it also offers the opportunity to create new jobs, boost local economies and protect America’s natural heritage.

During his campaign and in several early policy announcements, President-elect Obama has signaled he will lead America in a new direction on the environment, energy and climate, which is strongly supported by the environmental community.