Monday, September 22nd, 2014

Promises about Environment on The Obameter

Include environmental and labor standards in trade agreements

"He will use trade agreements to spread good labor and environmental standards around the world"

Create incentives for tree planting and promote carbon sequestration

"Will develop domestic incentives that reward forest owners, farmers, and ranchers when they plant trees, restore grasslands, or undertake farming practices that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere."

Improve water quality

"Will reinvigorate the drinking water standards that have been weakened under the Bush administration and update them to address new threats. Will help communities by restoring better federal financing for water and wastewater treatment infrastructure, and will continue leadership in protecting national treasures like the Great Lakes from threats such as industrial pollution, water diversion, and invasive species. And will establish policies to help high-growth regions with the challenges of managing their water supplies."

Regulate pollution from major livestock operations

"In the Obama Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency will strictly monitor and regulate pollution from large Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) - which raise more than 40 percent of U.S. livestock - with fines for those who violate tough air and water quality standards."

Restore the Great Lakes

"Restore the Great Lakes - Will push for the passage of the Great Lakes Collaboration Implementation Act, which will move us past playing defense against environmental problems and toward a comprehensive restoration of the Great Lakes."

Encourage water-conservation efforts in the West

Will "support federal policies to encourage voluntary water banks, wastewater treatment, and other market-based conservation measures" to address the water shortage in western states.

Strengthen federal environmental justice programs

"Will work to strengthen the EPA Office of Environmental Justice and expand the Environmental Justice Small Grants Program, which provides non-profit organizations across the nation with valuable resources to address local environmental problems; will work to ensure that environmental health issues in the wake of man-made or terrorist disasters are promptly addressed by federal state and local officials; will work to provide low-income communities the legal ability to challenge policies and processes that adversely affect the environmental health of low-income and minority communities."

Increase funding for organic and sustainable agriculture

"To support the continued growth of sustainable alternative agriculture...will increase funding for the National Organic Certification Cost-Share Program to help farmers afford the costs of compliance with national organic certification standards; and will reform the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Risk Management Agency's crop insurance rates so that they do not penalize organic farmers."

Increase funding for national parks and forests

"Will repair the damage done to our national parks by inadequate funding and emphasize the protection and restoration of our National Forests."

Increase funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund

Will support "increased funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports land acquisition and maintenance of parks" and "will lead efforts to acquire and conserve new parks and public lands, focusing on ecosystems such as the Great Plains and Eastern forests which do not yet have the protection they deserve."

Partner with landowners to conserve private lands

"Will put an unprecedented level of emphasis on the conservation of private lands; will advance legislation that works with landowners and follows in the tradition of the Wilderness Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act to focus federal attention and increased resources for this key environmental issue; will increase funding for the Conservation Security Program and the Conservation Reserve Program; and will create additional incentives for private landowners to protect and restore wetlands, grasslands, forests, and other wildlife habitat."

Encourage farmers to use more renewable energy and be more energy efficient

"Will encourage the use of methane digesters that are being used to produce power from animal waste; and will expand USDA projects that focus on energy efficiency and conservation."

Pursue a wildfire management plan

"Will aggressively pursue an effective fire prevention, mitigation and land and forest management plan that decreases the fire risks that many communities are now facing. When wildfire threatens lives and property, an Obama-Biden Administration will increase the federal government's commitment to field the most professional, well-trained, and well-coordinated wildfire fighting force in the world. Unlike the Bush Administration, they will not finance these efforts by raiding the budgets relied upon by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to provide public access to, and manage, the more than 430 million acres of public lands that they oversee. Barack Obama will work with Governors, Congress and local officials on a bipartisan basis to develop and enact reliable, dedicated funding sources to fight the most catastrophic fires so that public lands may continue to be managed for public access, fish, wildlife, recreation, forestry and other multiple uses."

Remove more brush, small trees and vegetation that fuel wildfires

"Will place a high priority on implementing cooperative projects to remove brush, small trees and other overgrown vegetation that serve as fuel for wildfires. Barack Obama will focus the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management's efforts on working with local communities on hazardous fuels projects to make communities safer and forests healthier."

More controlled burns to reduce wildfires

"Will use controlled burns and prescribed natural fire to reduce such fuels in close coordination with those communities that are most at risk. Thousands of jobs will be created by working with communities to thin unnaturally crowded forests close to homes. And by coordinating fuel reduction efforts with biomass energy projects, communities will have the potential to generate new sources of low cost energy. Resources will be focused where they will do the most good: in the wildland-urban interface, and not in fighting fires or on logging projects in remote, backcountry areas."

Increase funding for progams that conserve lands and habitat for select species such as the Osceola turkey

"Will fight to increase funding for the Conservation Security Program and the major set-aside programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program, Wetlands Reserve Program, and Grasslands Reserve Program, so that rental rates can compete with rising commodity prices; will direct the Departments of Agriculture and the Interior to place a special emphasis on restoration of habitat for important game species associated with specific regions of the United States, such as bobwhite quail and Eastern and Osceola turkey habitat in the South, ruffed grouse habitat in the Northeast, and sage grouse and pronghorn antelope habitat in the West;" and will support the use of tax incentives and other financial mechanisms to encourage private landowners to restore and protect habitat."

Protect forest service lands from more roads

"Will fight to protect roadless areas on Forest Service lands from all new road construction."

Support wetlands protection

Supports "full funding for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act and fulfilling the goal of "no net loss"; extending the swamp buster provisions of the Farm Bill, and amending the Clean Water Act to clarify that it protects isolated wetlands."

Fund proposals to help fish and game survive climate change

Supports proposals "to devote billions of dollars annually to state game and fish agencies and federal land management agencies to help them ensure that fish and wildlife survive the impacts of climate change."

Expand access to places to hunt and fish

Will "support the Open Fields Incentives legislation that provides incentives to farmers and ranchers who voluntarily open their land to hunting, fishing and other wildlife-related activities."