The Washington Post has yet another dubious spin on Obama today, “Environmental Groups Wait to See Definitive Action From Obama“:
The abrupt resignation Saturday of White House “green jobs” adviser Van Jones has focused new attention on one of the Obama administration’s top priorities: the environment.
While Jones was criticized as a left-wing zealot, the Obama team’s record so far on the environment has been far from radical.
The White House’s main effort has been to undo several Bush-era policies on climate control, air pollution and the regulation of roadless forests. Those actions, combined with court decisions that have struck down other rules, have given President Obama a relatively blank canvas on which to redraw U.S. environmental policy. But the administration has been cautious, leaving key issues in limbo and questions unanswered about the way it would balance environmentalism and the economy.
Uhh, no, no, and no. Van Jones was the green jobs advisor. He was an ardent advocate for reducing pollution and poverty together with clean energy. So a media story that starts with his resignation can’t utterly ignore the staggering achievements in both clean energy and greenhouse gas emissions that Obama has already attained — gains that exceed his four predecessors combined. Well I should said a story “shouldn’t utterly ignore” since this story does.
Obama’s record so far on clean energy and the most important environmental issue — global warming — may not be politically radical, but it is unparalleled in U.S. history.
Let’s remember, for instance, that Obama will raise new car fuel efficiency standard to 39 mpg by 2016 “” The biggest step the U.S. government has ever taken to cut CO2. And the Obama EPA declared carbon pollution a serious danger to Americans’ health and welfare requiring regulation. The final EPA announcement should come this month, leading to the first ever national global warming regulations (at least for new power plants) — no matter what Congress does. Of course Obama helped get through the House of Representatives its first ever climate bill, which is also the first clean air bill in two decades — see The U.S. House of Representatives approves landmark (bipartisan!) climate bill, 219 – 212. Waxman-Markey would complete America’s transition to a clean energy economy, which started with the stimulus bill.
And then we have that amazing stimulus. Nate Silver of fivethirtyeight.com, in his post “Obama Has Cut Taxes for 98.6 Percent of Working* Households**” asserts, “One thing I don’t quite get has been the White House’s reluctance to highlight the non-infrastructure parts of the stimulus package.” In fact, the White House hasn’t done a very good job of touting the $100 billion in clean energy benefits of the infrastructure or most of its other energy and environmental achievements. Since the media, among others, seems to have forgotten, let me excerpt from my April 26 post, “The Green FDR: Obama’s first 100 days make “” and may remake “” history“: