Obama: The Greening of the White House

In the run up to Obama’s inauguration there is a lot of speculation and rumour mongering about what his plans are regarding policies. Some of the rumours are nothing but verbal diarrhea from whack jobs on both sides of the ideological divide but other reports coming out show a sincere concern on getting the country in shape for dealing with developing environmental problems.

During this transition period the Obama team has been examining all of the Bush Administration’s policies to see which can easily be reversed to basically give them the biggest bang for their political buck. While much attention is being placed around things like stem cell research and reproductive rights there is another bunch of policies being looked at that could make a big difference to the environmental movement. As Ceci Connolly and R. Jeffrey Smith with the Washington Post wrote today

The president-elect has said, for example, that he intends to quickly reverse the Bush administration’s decision last December to deny California the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles. “Effectively tackling global warming demands bold and innovative solutions, and given the failure of this administration to act, California should be allowed to pioneer,” Obama said in January.

As well Obama appears to want to show that politics must not interfere with science

Before the election, Obama told others that he favors declaring that carbon dioxide emissions are endangering human welfare, following an EPA task force recommendation last December that Bush and his aides shunned in order to protect the utility and auto industries.

Robert Sussman, who was the EPA’s deputy administrator during the Clinton administration and is now overseeing EPA transition planning for Obama, wrote a paper last spring strongly recommending such a finding. Others in the campaign have depicted it as an issue on which Obama is keen to show that politics must not interfere with scientific advice.

While reports like this are probably the first of many to come it does provide an interesting look at how the Obama Administration will go about making their changes; and where.