Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's a GREAT day for the environment

Barack Obama has just been elected as the 44th president of the United States...unbelievable...that is totally awesome.

Come January, the environment will have the most ardent ally to ever enter the Oval Office...however there's DEFINITELY work that needs to be done before then to hold the Bush Administration at bay on certain issues.

Here's more insights from the NRDC:

Dear supporter-

It sure feels good to be an environmentalist this morning.

Just the sight of people going to the polls yesterday was a welcome reminder that President Bush's unrelenting assault on our natural heritage will soon come to an end.

And if that weren't uplifting enough, there is the stunning outcome of the voting itself. An advocate for the environment, Barack Obama, will be the next president of the United States.

Talk about transformation!

Before I go further, let me remind you that NRDC is a tax-deductible, non-partisan organization and, as such, we did not -- and cannot -- endorse specific candidates.

But I can tell you this: Hundreds of NRDC attorneys, scientists and policy experts have worked night and day for eight long years to stop the Bush-Cheney juggernaut from laying waste to our public lands, national forests, wildlife refuges and ocean ecosystems. Thanks to your phenomenal support, we have succeeded to an extent that few thought possible.

Barack Obama's election is a huge win for everyone exhausted from playing defense. Count us among them. It rekindles our hope that environmental protection may be restored to its rightful place as a treasured American value.

On the most important issues of the day -- from global warming controls to clean energy solutions to wilderness preservation -- President-elect Obama campaigned on behalf of far-sighted policies that NRDC has championed for years.

But hope alone will not turn those promises into reality. It's time to get to work.

For starters, our next president will take office in the midst of an economic cataclysm. He will be faced with monumental challenges and beset by powerful special interests.

We've got to make sure that his New Energy for America Plan goes right to the top of the national agenda -- along with its commitment to creating five million clean energy jobs, putting a million hybrid cars on the road, scaling up renewable energy, and capping global warming pollution.

America's economic and environmental salvation lies in that high-tech, clean energy future. That's why NRDC will be pressing the White House to tackle this do-or-die issue in its first 100 days.

Then comes the hard part: we'll have to move that legislation through the new Congress, where the same old polluters -- Big Oil and Big Coal -- will be lying in wait. They're not about to surrender their stranglehold on our economy without one heck of a fight.

NRDC is building a new and unstoppable coalition -- of green groups, young people, mainstream religious organizations, high-tech businesses, and labor -- that can wage and win this looming battle for a viable economy and a livable planet.

In the meantime, hundreds of NRDC staffers will focus on reversing the terrible environmental damage the Bush Administration is leaving behind in its wake. We'll be working to restore protections for wild forests...safeguards for endangered species...prosecutions of air and water polluters. The list goes on and on.

And that's before we feel the full brunt of new attacks that we know are coming from the White House over the next 80 days. Because lest we forget: President Bush is not gone yet.

His executive agencies are racing to carry out policies that would trigger an invasion of chainsaws into the Alaskan rainforest...expose Greater Yellowstone's wolves to mass killing yet again...and promote massive oil and gas exploration in the polar bear's Arctic habitat.

NRDC is already mobilizing to block these and other eleventh-hour raids on our natural heritage. Rest assured, we will not rest in our defense of America's environment until the last Bush official leaves the White House and turns off the lights.

In the weeks ahead, I will be reporting to you in more detail on our action plan for the final weeks of the Bush Administration and the first critical months of the Obama Administration.

But I can share one key element of that plan right now: You. Again and again, you've helped us defend the environment against the most withering attacks in modern American history. And we are far stronger today for having endured and prevailed.

NRDC is emerging from the Bush fiasco with the most potent combination of grassroots activism, courtroom power and legislative clout ever assembled by one public interest organization. It is an operation driven by your unwavering idealism and your unflagging support, which you've maintained even in these difficult economic times.

That idealism and support will soon be put to the ultimate test.

Come January, we will be granted a fleeting moment of opportunity -- a matter of months -- for turning environmental promise into legislative reality. We must strike swiftly if we are to defuse the twin crises of fossil fuel addiction and global warming -- or the Earth we leave our grandchildren will be unimaginably different than the one we now know and love.

It's a tall order. But the last eight years have prepared us like nothing else could. NRDC is ready. I trust you are, too, because we'll need you there with us more than ever before.

Frances Beinecke
Natural Resources Defense Council

P.S. The next 80 days are absolutely critical, as we fight off this president's last-ditch attacks on the environment and gear up to advance a visionary agenda in January. In all my years at NRDC, I can't remember a time when your gift would accomplish more. Please consider making a donation today.

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