PRESS RELEASE from the
National Audubon Society
Election Results Bring Conservation Opportunity and
Need for Action
Statement of Audubon President and CEO John Flicker
following the election of President-elect Obama and the new Congress.
"Voters in this historic election cast their ballots
not only for change, but for a new era of hope for our environment, and
the people, birds, and other wildlife that depend on it. Washington has
been ignoring critical environmental issues for too long.
President-elect Barack Obama and a more environmentally aware Congress
offer the promise of leadership and fundamental change that could usher
in new protections for America's great natural heritage, and a new
lease on life for species in decline.
"Despite real reason for optimism, we cannot take conservation gains
for granted. Audubon is committed to helping the new Administration and
Congress to live up to their great promise; and to make conservation,
clean energy and green jobs part of America's path to a brighter
"Through our local Chapters, state offices and national grass roots
efforts, Audubon will join with others in the environmental community
to ensure that our newly elected leaders lead the way on issues vital
to our environment, our economy and diversity of life on Earth."
Issues demanding prompt attention include:
- President-elect Obama should start by appointing to key
environmental positions within his Administration qualified leaders who
will defend our clean air and water, protect habitat and endangered
species, aggressively address global warming, and steward our great
natural heritage for future generations.
- The Department of the Interior should systematically review and
reverse decisions made by the past Administration under the Endangered
Species Act that were influenced by political considerations and not
based on sound science.
- President-elect Obama should send a clear signal to everyone in
his administration to restore and respect scientific integrity in all
Global Warming and Renewable Energy:
- President-elect Obama has said that: "We cannot afford more of
the same timid politics when the future of our planet is at stake."
He's right. We welcome the opportunity to help him deliver his promised
$150 billion plan for clean energy technologies that would protect our
environment and stimulate the economy, creating up 5 million new green
- The Congress should pass legislation providing significant
incentives for development of renewable energy such as a strong
Renewables Portfolio Standard and a long-term extension of the
Production Tax Credit, and pass significant legislation to address
global warming with a comprehensive cap-and-trade program.
- The new Administration and Congress must lead a transformation in
American energy production and use through investments in energy
efficiency and clean energy technologies. This can minimize the
fluctuation of gas prices while protecting our beaches, coastal
ecosystems and the Alaskan landscape from the threats of oil and gas
Endangered Species Conservation:
- We'll work with the Administration to secure reversal of the Bush
administration's weakening of the Endangered Species Act, such as the
controversial decision to allow agencies to self-consult regarding the
impacts of federally-approved projects on endangered species.
- Congress should pass new tax incentives to encourage private
landowners to work toward recovery of endangered species.
Bird and Habitat Conservation:
- The Administration and the Congress should reinvest in the
National Wildlife Refuge System and address the unacceptable $3.5
billion maintenance backlog crippling this critical tool for
- The Congress should pass legislation to conserve neotropical
migratory birds and address the steep declines in America's common
birds that are disappearing from parks, farms, and backyards across the
- The Administration and the Congress should fund significant new
restoration projects to improve the status of America's great natural
ecosystems: The Mississippi River, the Everglades, Long Island Sound,
and the Great Lakes.