Benefits from “the First 100 Days” That May Get Overlooked

You are going to hear a lot today about the new President’s first 100 days in office. Most of it will be “spin.” Political supporters will twist the facts to make him out a hero, while opponents will twist (and where necessary invent) facts to portray him as a villain. But you might not hear or read much about his “green” accomplishments – not in the mainstream media anyway. They have more exciting things to report on – yes, “more exciting” than the survival of our planet.

Thankfully, there are dedicated environmentalists who have been keeping track of those first hundred days. One such group,called the Daily Green, has made a comprehensive list of the President’s environmental activities. Check out the current list (No. 4 so far) at:

environmentAnd their verdict?

Nearly 100 actions to aid the environment and invest in clean energy make Obama’s first 100 days very green indeed…. Obama has made investing in the environment a big part of economic stimulus…. Rather than shying away from environmental initiatives because of the sour economy, as many politicians might, he has gone whole hog.

The list includes $8 billion for high speed rail; $6 billion for water quality, wastewater and drinking water infrastructure; $6 billion to clean up contamination at old weapons sites; $3.9 billion for smart grid improvements; $3.2 billion to improve energy efficiency at public buildings; $2.4 billion for plug-in hybrid and battery research; $1.2 billion for science infrastructure; $750 million for national parks projects; $600 million for the Superfund to clean up polluted sites; $300 million for local “clean-car” initiatives; $280 million for wildlife centers; $211 million for development of “clean diesel”; $200 million for the Leaking Underground Storage Tank program; $140 million for Geological Survey research; $114 million to develop fuel cell capacity; $100 million for cleaning up old industrial sites that are not toxic enough for the Superfund but too toxic to redevelop without special attention; $84.8 million for watershed protection; and $10 million to help develop a hybrid plug-in school bus.

This list doesn’t mention the dozens of lethal executive orders President Bush passed in his final days. One of the first things President Obama did on taking office was to start reversing his predecessor’s devastating assault on wildlife and the environment. (Maybe that’s in another “Daily Green” list. I didn’t read all four.)

No doubt about it, whatever else they say about our President, he is on the side of the angels when it comes to the environment. It’s no wonder the Republicans can’t stand him!