Obama Legacy: Climate, Environment and Energy

President Obama Addressed Environment and Climate Change While Also Meeting Our Energy Needs

President Obama and Democrats take the environment seriously and they are ready, willing and able to address the problems caused by climate change. They have also been more than willing to address environmental concerned and they tackled them for eight years. At the same time, President Obama also addressed our short-term energy needs in a way that made things easier for the average

American family. He oversaw the end of $4 per gallon gasoline, which was crippling working class families, but he also used the extra tax revenue that came from increased drilling to invest in the future of alternative energy sources. As a result, we have seen a major resurgence in the use of solar, wind and geothermal energy, to the point that solar alone has made the use of coal largely untenable.

In other words, instead of taking an either/or approach to energy generation in the US, President

Obama took a balanced approach that seems to have worked. Here are some examples of what he accomplished in the areas of energy, the environment and climate change:

President Obama and Democrats immediately doubled the amount of federal investment on clean energy research. http://bit.ly/iN0sCE

President Obama and Democrats pushed through a tax credit to help people buy plug-in hybrid cars. http://bit.ly/j8UP5Y

The Obama Administration created a program to develop renewable energy projects on the waters of our Outer Continental Shelf to produce electricity from wind, wave, and ocean currents.


President Obama reengaged the United States in the climate change and greenhouse gas emissions agreements talks. http://bit.ly/2s9mwNS

To demonstrate commitment to a subject Republicans had long neglected, President Obama went so far as to propose a climate change agreement of his own. http://bit.ly/2s9mk1h

President Obama pledged $500 million to United Nations Climate Fund that Lord Donny has promised to de-fund. http://bit.ly/2jCEiUH

President Obama addressed several groups, including the U.N. Climate Change Conference, announcing an official reversal of the Bush era (and current GOP) stance that climate change was a “hoax.”   http://nyti.ms/hfeqvv

President Obama officially supported the initial phase of the creation of a legally-binding treaty to reduce mercury emissions worldwide. http://bit.ly/eJ6QOO

The Obama Administration set rules requiring states to provide incentives to utilities to reduce their energy consumption. http://bit.ly/lBhk7P

Under President Obama, our dependence on foreign oil has dropped to its lowest rate since 1985, and continues to drop. http://bit.ly/2u9x7Fg

President Obama and Democrats raised a lot of money for investment in alternative energy through a one-cent increase per barrel in an oil tax. http://1.usa.gov/yTRYVo

Under President Obama, oil consumption dropped significantly, thanks in part to reduced driving and higher mileage standards. http://ti.me/1z4HFG8

The Obama Administration led the way to improved siting, review and permitting stations for power plants, an attempt to provide significant improvement to the nation’s electrical grid.


President Obama reengaged the United States in a number of very important treaties and agreements designed to protect the Antarctic. http://bit.ly/fzQUFO

President Obama established a quadrennial review of our entire energy infrastructure, to encourage the modernization of the electrical grid, and to encourage the transition away from fossil fuel use. http://1.usa.gov/1nx2oMo

President Obama mandated that all federal government fleet purchases be for fuel-efficient American vehicles.  http://detne.ws/2seg1of

President Obama encouraged all federal agencies to show their full support for fuel-efficient vehicles, including experimental all electric vehicles and hybrid prototypes. http://1.usa.gov/fLWq5c

President Obama strongly encouraged BP to pay $20 billion to establish Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, to reduce the need for taxpayer funds to be used for compensation and clean up. http://wapo.st/ds2BxT (Note: it took 20 years to get $1.3 billion from Exxon for the Valdez spill in Alaska.)

President Obama pushed through an amendment to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 authorizing advances from Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. http://1.usa.gov/yTRYVo

President Obama and Democrats amended the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 to significantly raise the liability limits for companies responsible for large oil spills. http://nyti.ms/bxjDi3

President Obama became the first President to ever simply say “Climate change is a fact.” He also set up the first federal government protocols for dealing with the impacts of climate change. http://1.usa.gov/1b7V67B

President Obama and Democrats initiated criminal and civil inquiries into the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. http://nyti.ms/bVuB7a

President Obama’s Justice Department asserted federal legal supremacy to bar Texas from authorizing new refinery permits on its own. http://bit.ly/ww8eMd

The Obama Administration set up new and far stricter standards designed to result in severely limited power plant emissions. The hope is to cut them to 68% of 2005 levels by 2030. http://1.usa.gov/1mML2M3

President Obama placed major restrictions on the ivory trade in a bid to prevent the wholesale slaughter of elephants in Africa. http://ti.me/292Z4Gg

President Obama signed and implemented a law designed to curb the use of animal testing and establish alternative testing methods. http://bit.ly/28Z5AuS

President Obama strengthened the Endangered Species Act. http://bit.ly/hscjsH

President Obama strengthened overall protection for wildlife, and expanded enforcement of laws against wildlife trafficking. http://1.usa.gov/1fce1Ai

The Obama Administration was able to cite 99 “wildlife wins” in the space of eight years, such was their record in protecting wildlife. http://bit.ly/2u9If50

The Obama EPA improved boiler safety standards to improve air quality, and save 6500 lives per year. http://bit.ly/jYH7nt

Through the EPA, President Obama took steps to severely limit the use of antibiotics in livestock feed, so as to stop the reduced efficacy in humans. http://bit.ly/fBuWd2

Through new EPA regulations, President Obama created a pretext for closing the dirtiest power plants in the country, by limiting emissions of mercury and other toxic gases. http://bit.ly/rQCIgA

President Obama and Democrats increased funding for National Parks and Forests by 10% http://bit.ly/fbJPjY (Note: the current reduced funding comes from Republicans, which is why you have to pay so much to visit your own national parks.)

The Obama Administration set up the first ever fuel efficiency standards for commercial vehicles. http://1.usa.gov/oQiC1K

President Obama signed a rare bipartisan bill that allowed for increased regulations of chemicals and other toxic materials, thus allowing the EPA to make the use of certain toxic materials more transparent. http://usat.ly/2911hA4

President Obama established average fuel economy standards that were much higher than previously, from 27.5 mpg in 2010 to 35.5 mpg starting in 2016 and 54.5 starting in 2025 http://1.usa.gov/qtghsW

President Obama facilitated greater investment in industrial energy efficiency because it creates jobs and strengthen US manufacturing, even as it saves businesses $10 billion per year over the next decade. http://1.usa.gov/WsIgbx

President Obama set up the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council, with the intent of overseeing Gulf Coast restoration efforts following the 2010 BP. Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The money to fund the restoration efforts came from fines against BP. http://1.usa.gov/Rxjb29

President Obama engaged in the most comprehensive plan to combat climate change in a generation. http://bit.ly/13lXhET

President Obama ordered energy plants to produce at least 15% of all energy through renewable resources like wind and solar, by 2021. http://reut.rs/fV155p (Note: Republicans are still complaining about this and calling it “over-regulation,” even though the 15% number is well below that of many of our global competitors and we are on track to making that goal, easily.)

President Obama established an initiative to convert old factories and manufacturing centers into new clean technology centers. http://bit.ly/mjnq2R

The Obama Administration and Democrats used government investment to guided a 418% increase in solar power capacity between 2010 and 2014. http://bit.ly/1rHkWJC

President Obama’s leadership on alternative energy meant that the United States and China led the way to a 50% increase in solar energy worldwide. http://bit.ly/2sJi1YR

Under President Obama’s Leadership, the cost of solar energy has dropped by 70% http://bit.ly/2u9f2ad

Under President Obama’s leadership, the growth rate in the solar industry is averaging 68% per year. http://bit.ly/2u9f2ad

Led by President Obama and Democrats, the growth rate for solar in 2016 alone was 95%. http://bit.ly/2tNi04F

Thanks to President Obama and Democrats, the solar industry alone now employs more than 260,000 Americans http://bit.ly/2u9f2ad

Thanks to President Obama, as of May 2015, 74% of new electrical capacity was provided by solar and wind power. http://bit.ly/1T5r0LC

President Obama had to bypass Republicans in Congress to order the EPA to begin regulating and measuring carbon emissions. http://bit.ly/froaP5

He didn’t just support the solar industry. Under President Obama’s leadership, the use of wind power to generate electricity more than tripled, to the point that the United States now leads the world in increased wind power capacity. As of January 2017, the total installed wind power capacity is 84.13 Megawatts, up from 16.8 MW at the beginning of the Obama Administration. http://bit.ly/2s9Pddm

President Obama ordered the federal government to incorporate climate resilience and climate science into all international development in which the United States engages. http://1.usa.gov/YV1EpW

President Obama fast-tracked regulations to allow states to the ability to enact fuel efficiency standards that exceeded federal standards. http://nyti.ms/e8e94x

In addition, President Obama also fast-tracked increased fuel economy standards for vehicles beginning with the 2011 model year, marking the first time these standards had been increased in well over a decade. http://politi.co/hiaPKM

President Obama established the Energy Partnership for the Americas, to create more markets for American-made biofuels and green energy technologies. http://bit.ly/lZp73y

The Obama EPA reversed a Bush-era decision to allow the largest mountaintop removal project in US history. http://bit.ly/lP3yEL

President Obama ordered the Department of Energy to implement more aggressive efficiency standards for the most common appliances in any household. http://1.usa.gov/g3MTbu

The Obama EPA ruled that excess carbon dioxide is a pollutant. http://bit.ly/iQTSNN

President Obama completed a deal with China to limit carbon emissions, so as to slow down climate change. http://nyti.ms/1xzyS8K

The Obama Administration blocked all oil and gas drilling in Bristol Bay, Alaska, one of the most pristine environments in North America   http://lat.ms/13xUVFD

President Obama crafted an Executive Order to improve environmental efforts in the Arctic region and to combat climate change by better coordinating the efforts of all 23 federal agencies operating in the area. http://usat.ly/ZEzLzE

President Obama vetoed a Republican bill to fast track construction of the parallel Keystone XL pipeline. http://nbcnews.to/1DVDFo7

President Obama amended and expanded clean water regulations to more stringently protect all of the nation’s waterways, even when states fail in their duty. http://bit.ly/1RdQpTc

President Obama signed another in a series of five executive orders committing the federal government to lead the way in building a sustainable economy. He signed these because the Republicans refused to do anything. http://1.usa.gov/1EzO2ne

The Obama Administration banned the use of antibiotics in food served in Government-run cafeterias and ordered agencies to only use antibiotic-free meat. http://bit.ly/1G1vUxi http://bit.ly/1KHkl4N

The Obama Administration developed new rules to address climate change and also boost the use of clean energy. http://bit.ly/1UnQcuR

President Obama negotiated and signed the Paris Climate Accords, a virtually Republican-Proof global agreement on climate change, with 190 countries signing on. http://bit.ly/1RkjVG8 (As is their tendency, Republicans have promised to pull out of the Treaty, but that is both unlikely and unwise, since opposing 189 countries on global policy will be economic suicide. See the statistics above on alternative fuels for a clue.)

Even before the Paris Accords, President Obama made sure the United States became one of 196 countries that signed onto a UN Framework on Climate Change, reversing a GOP/Bush stance. http://unfccc.int/2860.php

President Obama ordered a moratorium on new coal leasing on federal land. http://wapo.st/23Q6en8

President Obama made sure the federal government examined the whole leasing process, to make sure taxpayers weren’t being railroaded. http://wapo.st/23Q6en8

President Obama signed a bill to allow for greater oversight and to protect surrounding communities from them.  http://bit.ly/291woja

President Obama ordered that more than 87,000 acres of Maine Woods be turned into the North Woods National Monument. http://bit.ly/2ciWDCc

President Obama signed a law and implemented a Department of Transportation directive to issue guidelines for minimum standards for underground storage of natural gas. http://bit.ly/291AdjL

President Obama established the Northern Bering Sea Climate Resilience Area in an effort to preserve the Bering Sea and to protect the people who live in the area and depend on the sea for their lives. http://bit.ly/2k8cpEP

President Obama permanently banned offshore oil and gas drilling in many areas of the Arctic and North Atlantic, to preserve the environment and stave off climate change. http://bit.ly/2jDcLm7

President Obama also put plenty of extra money to assist Texas in its study of better hurricane protection. http://bit.ly/2iP9Mm1

President Obama established national parks in Nevada and Utah, so as to protect and preserve as much of the environment as possible before Lord Donny took power. http://bit.ly/2jdbj6t

President Obama signed a pact with Cuba to coordinate resources in cases of oil spills between the two countries. http://reut.rs/2jcZsp7