clean water action endorses Barack Obama
We are committed to mobilizing our million-member base behind this endorsement, along with millions of other voters across the U.S. who care about clean drinking water and clean rivers and streams.
Clean Water Action’s Bob Wendelgass joined with other major environmental group CEOs this April to announce an unprecedented early Presidential endorsement. Statements by Wendelgass and others highlighted President Obama’s leadership and strong first-term performance on clean water and other environmental and health protection issues. They also pointed up the sharp contrast posed by Gov. Romney’s candidacy.
“The choice this year is clear,” Wendelgass said. “We can either continue moving forward to build a future of clean water and clean jobs, or we can go back forty years to a time when rivers caught on fire and the air in most cities was unhealthy to breathe.”
Under President Obama’s direction, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies, have successfully advanced a number of forward-looking initiatives. These have allowed the Obama Administration to begin repairing damage done to environmental and health protections under the previous administration and make headway on addressing long neglected environmental priorities.
The latest of these is the completion of new vehicle fuel efficiency standards, unveiled this August. By 2024, existing standards would nearly double to 54.5 miles per gallon for cars and light trucks. Owners of the new vehicles would save $8,000, and overall oil consumption would be cut by 2.2 million barrels of oil per day.
The reductions in climate-changing pollution and in oil-related spills and water contamination would be significant. The new standards would also create half a million jobs by 2030, includ-ing 50,000 jobs in auto manufacturing.
Gov. Romney opposes the standards, despite their substantial economic and environmental benefits and the fact that they enjoy strong auto industry support.
Other water protection actions taken during the Obama Administration’s first term include:
On Clean Water: Policies expected to be finalized soon will restore Clean Water Act pro-tection for small streams and wetlands. The Administration also has pushed strong initia-tives to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, the Everglades and other important water bodies.
On Hydraulic Fracturing for Gas and Oil: Federal agencies have stepped up to protect water resources and public health in the face of inadequate state oversight. EPA has issued the first-ever controls on air pollution from oil and gas operations and has proposed policies to protect underground drinking water sources from chemical contamination when diesel is ued in fracking
Faced with a Congress that is the most hostile ever to environmental protection, President Obama also led and supported efforts that kept most of the U.S. House’s worst proposals from becoming law, including bills that would gut the Clean Water Act.
The stakes today are even higher than in 2008, when Clean Water Action supported Barack Obama’s first Presidential bid as the clear choice for voters concerned about clean water, clean air, environmental and health protection. The contrast between the two major party Presiden-tial tickets is even greater for 2012, with President Obama having delivered a positive first-term environmental record unmatched by any other since Clean Water Action’s founding.
Polls suggest this year’s elections will be extremely close, so votes cast by each Clean Water Action member will have even more of an impact.