Congratulations, President-elect Obama; Here are Some Issues for You

The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) congratulates Barack Obama on his historic election as the next President of the United States. NACD is dedicated to educating the new Administration and Congress on the important role the chemical distribution industry plays in the chain of commerce.

NACD President Chris Jahn said, "It is a time for all Americans to put aside their differences and work together. NACD stands ready, willing, and able to support policies that will lead our country through this time of economic uncertainty and into a new era of sustained growth."

Issues important to chemical distributors include chemical security, hazardous materials transportation, chemicals management policy, tax, and labor matters. NACD has already met with Obama's staff on some of these issues.

The World Wildlife Fund congratulates Obama and Joe Biden on their elections. Carter Roberts, chief executive officer of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), said "We are confident President-elect Obama will chart a new course that will lead America and the world to a healthier, safer, more sustainable, and prosperous future. We look forward to working with the new President and his administration to implement the progressive environmental policies which he championed throughout his campaign—policies that will not only help us avoid catastrophic climate change but will jumpstart the global economy and restore America's reputation as a leader in solving the most serious problems confronting our world and future generations."

Carter said he hoped the new President will maintain his commitment to policies that will sharply reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help prepare for the impacts of climate change as well as play a leadership role in upcoming climate talks in Poznan, Poland. He also hopes the Administration will consider the need to ensure food security, the availability of freshwater, the sustainable use of the world's resources, and the creation of economic opportunity that ensures fairness for countries of all economic standing.

Securing America's Future Energy (SAFE) congratulated President-elect Barack Obama on his victory and expressed eagerness to work with the new administration to enact comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to improve our nation's energy security.

"After an historic victory, President-elect Obama now has an historic opportunity," said SAFE President and Chief Executive Officer Robbie Diamond. "We hope that President Obama makes a comprehensive, bipartisan energy reform package -- one that includes both a long-term, robust plan to electrify our transportation system, and increased domestic production of oil and natural gas to strengthen our economy in the interim -- a priority in the early days of his administration."

In 2007, Democrats and Republicans came together to pass the Energy Independence and Security Act, legislation that included the first improvements in vehicle fuel-economy standards in more than three decades.

SAFE is an action-oriented, nonpartisan organization that aims to reduce America's dependence on oil and improve U.S. energy security to bolster national security and strengthen the economy.

The American Petroleum Institute also congratulated President-elect Barack Obama. "America's oil and natural gas industry looks forward to working with President-elect Barack Obama and Congress to deliver a comprehensive and realistic energy policy that encourages development of all domestic energy sources, including oil and natural gas, for the benefit of consumers," said President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Gerard. "Though the unfolding economic hardship facing the U.S. has dominated headlines as of late, America's energy situation is no less a fundamental threat," Diamond added. "In fact, there is no issue more vital to the nation's strength and prosperity than energy security. And we must act quickly. Critical energy projects and investments are large and long term in nature -- in other words, the decisions we make today will determine our energy future for decades. Our economy would certainly benefit from the jobs created by vital energy infrastructure improvements, especially a strengthening, expansion, and modernization of the electricity grid.

The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is looking forward to quick and decisive action to combat climate change.

"President-elect Obama has argued that our economic, energy, and environmental problems share the same solution," said UCS President Kevin Knobloch. "We are looking to the new president and Congress to work together to build a clean energy economy that will create millions of new jobs here at home, expand capital investment, make our nation less dependent on oil, and prevent the worst consequences of global warming.

Next year the new administration and Congress can do much to jumpstart a "Green Deal" that would help pull the country out of our economic downturn by investing in clean energy and modernizing the national electricity grid, Knobloch said.

"A critical step for Congress is to pass a strong federal climate bill with a declining cap on global warming emissions," he said. "Such a cap-and-trade system would generate needed revenues to finance new energy sources and help Americans manage and reduce their energy costs."

From the U.S. Green Building Council: Throughout the country, deteriorating infrastructure--including public buildings, schools, roads, and transit facilities--poses a unique opportunity to direct taxpayer dollars to projects that provide significant environmental and economic benefits. In addition to reducing environmental impact, green infrastructure projects can both put people back to work and create new, skilled, green jobs.

Investment in green schools is an area of particular importance. New technical expertise and skills will be required to transition from our carbon-intensive economy to the green economy of the future. The next Administration should prioritize and invest in the creation of robust green job training initiatives in community colleges, universities, and the trades to develop the capacity for an energy-efficient and low-carbon economy. The full funding of the green job training programs authorized by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 is essential to this effort. Funding for research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, and other building-related areas, also is crucial to achieving our environmental goals.

Rising energy prices and increasingly serious climate events--now affecting individuals worldwide--pose unique challenges to low-income communities. Several existing federal programs, as well as new initiatives, are essential to ensuring that the transition to a green economy is inclusive of individuals from all backgrounds. The full funding of the federal Weatherization Assistance Program and the expansion of green affordable housing initiatives are important steps to this end.

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