Delivering on the Promise

NWF   |   January 27, 2009

White House It feels like a whole new world.  On January 19, I joined thousands of people at the Green Inaugural Ball that celebrated the Big Green Tent — and the arrival of the green economy.  Environmentalists, scientists, entrepreneurs, investors, green-collar workers, faith and civil justice leaders — all of us committed to the green economy that will power our future. It was an exhilarating to be with this group, representing millions of Americans who want game-changing federal climate legislation this year.  It was an historic moment for the movement — and the nation.

And President Obama is quickly moving to deliver on his promise of change. I was at the White House on Monday to hear first-hand from President Obama that he is committed to changing the course of America's energy policy. With leadership from the Obama administration and from the new Congress, our energy policies will no longer be based on denial and delay but instead on sound science that tells us we don’t have to choose among efficient vehicles, jobs and a healthy environment.

The change won’t just be felt here at home. It will also impact our foreign relations. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has appointed Todd Stern to the newly-created position of special envoy for climate change. And former Vice President Al Gore will testify before the Senate Foreign Relations committee on Wednesday, asking lawmakers to renew American leadership on battling climate change.

We all have to do our part to support the vision and direction of President Obama. We need to put all our efforts behind supporting legislation that invests in the technologies and builds the infrastructure that will create new jobs and protect the environment. Congress must take the first step now, passing a green economic recovery package to repower America’s economy. Looking forward, the most important thing America can do in 2009 to galvanize investment in clean energy technology is to enact a cap-and-invest plan that invests in clean energy technologies, reduces global warming pollution, and protects our natural resources.

Larry Schweiger

Published: January 27, 2009