Most Americans can still remember when Obama accepted the challenge of running for presidential position. His party, the democrats, did not fail in choosing him, as he won the elections and served as president of the United State for two terms.
During his campaign, Obama made promises regarding his aims to heal the planet. However, it seems that two terms are not enough to achieve such goals. Still, the former president should be commended for exerting so much effort.
On the other hand, though Obama attained some of his goals, these achievements are in danger of being banished by Donald Trump.
One of Obama’s achievements during his terms was his campaign on climate change. He appealed to world leaders to take action on the harmful changes that are currently happening in the world. He was supported in his action on controlling greenhouse gas emissions, but his battle ended in the senate.
Obama also approved federal funding for polishing America’s standards in renewables and use of fuel and focused on increasing production of domestic oil and gas production to lower fuel prices.
He worked with Environmental Protection Agency in hunting polluters and committing to a major international climate deal. These things can be considered as two his most prominent legacies, but they are in danger of being laid to waste as the next president of America is very intent of revoking the environmental regulations that Obama implemented.
Remarkably, Obama’s presidency was one of the hottest seasons in world’s history. A small Australian rodent became extinct because of climate change after resettlement of first climate refugees from southeastern Louisiana. Meanwhile, cities from New York to Miami Beach are predicted to be submerged in water in the near future.
According to Bob Inglis, a former Republican congressman and climate change action supporter, the problem in climate change is inevitable, as proven by flooded streets during storms.
In 2007, Obama presented an aggressive energy plan centering on cap-and-trade system. The goal of this system was to cut carbon emission by 80% by 2050. The resulting level was said to be sufficient for scientists take actions in curbing global warming.
The plan will also set limits for carbon emissions, whereas companies will be provided with permits to buy and sell carbon allowances. Known as American Clean Energy and Security Act, the plan was expected to reduce aggregate emissions by 2020.
The legislation reached the House of Representatives in 2009, but it lost the battle because of various issues surrounding the Democrats and Republicans,
Former Colorado governor Bill Ritter thinks that Obama might have focused too much on Affordable Care Act, spending most of his political capital and not leaving some for American Clean Energy and Security Act.
On the other hand, some people think that Obama was too safe and never provided Republicans with enough opportunities to work with him in his reform actions. According to Inglis, Obama should have offered Republicans something in return for their support.
Though he made effort through finding environmental causes and clean energy, cap and trade did progress, and that was considered a loss during Obama’s first term. However, he promised to redeem himself when he run for a second term.
As he continued his battling climate change, Obama used executive action as beacon.
There were to great obstacles in reaching his goals. The first is increase in people who deny the truthfulness of climate change. On the other hand, some countries, such as India and Saudi Arabia, are worrying about the impacts on their economics in case actions against climate change, including fossil fuel, are implemented.
During his first term, Obama focused on implement various policy goals, including promotion of clean energy use in agriculture and carbon sequestration, and increase in energy efficiency of appliances, vehicles, and establishments. He achieved these goals through different federal agencies.
When he won another election, he added more strength in implementation of such strategy.
In 2013, Environmental Protection Agency present the first draft of Clean Power Plan. It was followed by the release of final revision in 2015. The final revision centered on coal-power plants, and it aimed at reduction of emissions by 32% after 25 years starting from 2005.
However, the US Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute did not take this well.
Meanwhile, some environmentalist still criticized Obama for allowing drilling in Gulf of Mexico and neglecting the issue on fracking.
Obama also supported expansion of hydraulic fracturing to lessen carbon footprint, though this practice results in large emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. This solicited another bashing from climate change campaigners.
On another matter, it was remarkable that oil production increased in US. In fact, it doubled from under 5 million barrels to 8.7 million barrels in November 2016.
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TRUMP’S FORECASTED ACTIONS
Meanwhile, as the new president of the United States, Trump vows to reverse the regulations implemented by Obama. He can work his way around by not implementing Clean Power Plan and ignoring the Paris agreement.
On the other hand, Trump will find hard time battling Obama’s December 20 drilling moratorium thanks to the 1953 law does not include any clause that may allow other presidents to withdraw. However, the drilling moratorium can be challenged in court.
However, no one is unsure regarding Trump’s intentions, though experts claim that oil industry will surely prosper under his presidency. Meanwhile, it is certain that the economy will not approve all of Trump’s plans. In addition, warriors against climate change can only hope that the Clean Power Plan survives ruling in DC Court of Appeals.