Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Obama on the Issues - Environment


As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Senator Obama has worked to ensure our nation's environmental laws and policies balance America's needs for a healthy, sustainable environment with economic growth.


Since coming to Washington, Senator Obama has made the elimination of childhood lead poisoning one of his top priorities.

Over 400,000 children in the U.S. suffer from lead poisoning. Lead is a highly toxic substance that can produce a range of health problems in young children including IQ deficiencies, reading and learning disabilities, reduced attention spans, hyperactivity, and damage to the kidneys, brain and bone marrow. The most common source of lead exposure is lead paint in older housing.

During his first year in office, Senator Obama successfully fought to get the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publish long-overdue rules for how contractors involved in the renovation and remodeling of homes should deal with lead paint hazards. To force EPA to issue the rules, Senator Obama threatened to block the confirmation of an EPA official and passed an amendment to stop EPA from delaying the rulemaking process. When the rules are eventually finalized, they will prevent 28,000 lead-related illnesses each year, resulting in an annual net economic benefit of more than $4 billion.

Lead is also present in many children's products. In 2003 and 2004, nearly 150 million pieces of toy jewelry were recalled because of toxic levels of lead. To address this problem, Senator Obama introduced the Lead-Free Toys Act (S. 2048) to require the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban any children's product containing lead.

Senator Obama is also an original cosponsor of the Home Lead Safety Tax Credit Act (S. 2053), which would provide tax credits to property owners who eliminate or contain paint hazards in homes where low-income young children or women of child-bearing age live.

Great Lakes

The Great Lakes store one-fifth of the world's surface water, and Lake Michigan alone provides drinking water for an estimated six million residents in Illinois. The Great Lakes are also important for recreation, transportation, and economic development. To preserve this national treasure, Senator Obama has been a strong supporter of the Great Lakes Regional Collaboration and is a cosponsor of the Great Lakes Environmental Restoration Act (S. 508).

One of the greatest threats facing the Great Lakes is aquatic invasive species. Senator Obama was successful in ensuring that Illinois receives adequate federal funding to operate a barrier to prevent Asian carp from entering Lake Michigan and disrupting the balance of the lake's ecosystem.

Global Climate Change

In addition to protecting the quality of the air we breathe, Senator Obama believes the U.S. needs to do more to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. He is a cosponsor of the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act (S. 1151), which was introduced by Senators McCain and Lieberman.

More info: Senator Obama's speech to the Associated Press in April 2006 on climate change.


In December 2005, the Chicago Tribune published an in-depth report on the extent of mercury contamination in the fish eaten by Americans. Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that can cause serious developmental problems in children, ranging from severe birth defects to mental retardation. As many as 630,000 children born annually in the U.S. are at risk of neurological problems related to mercury. In adults, mercury can cause major neurological problems affecting vision, motor skills, blood pressure and fertility.

Sampling conducted by the Tribune showed surprisingly high levels of mercury concentrations in freshwater and saltwater fish purchased in the Chicago area. The Tribune series also reported on how existing programs at the Food and Drug Administration and EPA have failed to adequately test and evaluate mercury levels in fish.

To address this problem, Senator Obama introduced two bills - the Mercury Market Minimization Act (S. 3627) and the Missing Mercury in Manufacturing Monitoring and Mitigation Act (S. 3631). These bills would significantly reduce the amount of mercury that is deposited in oceans, lakes, and rivers, which in turn would reduce the amount of mercury in fish.

Source: http://obama.senate.gov/issues/

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Blogger Roger Thomas said...

Looking good.

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This is the source of the agenda for the 2005 G8 in Scotland, climate change and Africa.
It is also the source of the British Government's risk assessment that climate change is a greater threat than terrorism, given global publicity by the UKs Chief Scientist and used by Al Gore.

Now off UK Gov site placed here for reference.


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6:26 PM, February 13, 2008  
Blogger Roger Thomas said...


Celtic Lion

6:27 PM, February 13, 2008  

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