Thursday, April 12, 2007

Obama on Climate Change

Why should we trust Barack Obama with our precious natural resources? Why should we be confident in his ability to take the lead on solving global climate change? Perhaps we should trust him because he's already been delivering results in Congress, and because he intends to continue delivering results in the White House.

Senator Barack Obama was one of the original co-sponsors of the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act, a comprehensive piece of legislation that would create a public-private partnership to develop creative solutions that spur technological innovation in the marketplace and improve our economy while protecting our natural resources and stopping the climate catastrophe. But of course, Obama did not stop here. No, he is also introducing his own legislation with Richard Lugar of Indiana, the American Fuels Act. Now this bill is actually designed to tackle one of the root problems behind the coming climate catastrophe, which is U.S. dependence on fossil fuels, by encouraging the use of alternative fuels and providing incentives for the development of these alternative fuels.

Now in the meantime, as we await further technological advances in the development of alternative energy options, Barack Obama recognizes that we can do something meaningful now to stop the climate catastrophe by simply learning to be more energy efficient. He has authored the Fuel Economy Reform Act, which would institute real progress in miles per gallon fuel efficiency by an increase of four percent annually, meanwhile allowing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to vary the rate of improvement and how best to technologically achieve those fuel economy targets. This common-sense approach to improving fuel efficiency has attracted widespread support, and it would end nearly two decades of stagnation and inaction in reforming our fuel economy laws.

And of course, Obama's work in finding solutions to climate change doesn't stop there. Senator Obama has joined Iowa Senator Tom Harkin in reintroducing the Biofuels Security Act, which would bring about 60 billion gallons of renewable biofuels in the nation’s vehicle fuel supply by the year 2030. Obama also authored the Alternative Diesel Standard with Mississippi Senator Thad Cochran, and this bill would require 2 billion gallons of alternative diesels (such as biodiesels) as part of the 40 billion gallon national diesel pool. And oh yes, Obama introduced the “Health Care for Hybrids Act” to provide health care assistance to domestic automakers in exchange for their investment of 50% of their health care savings into developing new technology for clean, fuel-efficient vehicles. His proposal has been praised by such luminaries as President Bill Clinton, as well as by the experts at the University of Michigan’s auto research center.

Clearly Obama is not taking this oncoming climate catastrophe lightly. He is already working on practical and effective legislative solutions that both protect our environment AND improve our economy. Obama is not only talking about solving the climate crisis, but he is already taking action to do so. That's the type of leadership we need in the White House.

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