Posts Tagged ‘White House’


As the White House finally rights a wrong and installs solar panels to heat and energize the East Wing, the Obama administration will have to determine if the installation is merely a symbolic gesture or a signal of robust leadership on climate and energy policy.

One indication of the latter would be strong leadership on a legislative response to the BP oil spill. Unfortunately, the administration might have its hands full doing damage control after the oil spill commission deemed the government’s spill response “either not fully competent” or “not fully candid with the American people about the scope of the problem.”

However, a swift, decisive course of action to reform Big Oil and hold the industry accountable might be just the solution the White House needs. Faced with the inadequacies of the spill response, America needs to see accountability for corporations and government agencies alike, stronger safety and environmental regulations for offshore drilling, and more rights for both oil rig workers and Gulf coast residents. Such legislation has already passed in the House of Representatives, but the Senate companion bill has yet to hit the floor.

America needs to see that action now. The immediate Gulf crisis is over, but the underlying causes for it must be addressed – before it happens again.

Big Oil is not wasting a moment cozying up to Congress. Just look at the Senate’s failure to approve subpoena power for the oil spill commission. By denying the commission the authority to subpoena witnesses and compel testimony, Congress is shielding companies associated with the spill from being held accountable.

Yes, the Obama administration should be applauded for its move to go solar. But as soon as the party is over, the administration must get back to work on holding BP accountable.

Tyson Slocum is director of Public Citizen’s Energy Program.

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The Obama administration  issued a statement today announcing it plans to install solar panels on the roof of the White House, about a month after climate change activist Bill McKibben and a group of Unity College students were seemingly rebuffed in making that very request. Albeit it is a mostly symbolic gesture, it’s still a welcome one and an important victory to advocates of clean, renewable energy. Now, it’s time time to keep the pressure on Obama and Congress to end subsidies and tax breaks for polluters and to turn away from risky and expensive nuclear power.

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On Wednesday, we delivered our petition to the White House urging President Barack Obama to nominate Elizabeth Warren to lead the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Thank you to everyone who signed our Elizabeth Warren petition!

If anyone understands the urgency of appointing Elizabeth Warren to lead the new consumer bureau, it’s Craig Mehall – a Public Citizen lobbyist who fought on the front lines of Wall Street reform, going toe-to-toe with big bank lobbyists.

All of us at Public Citizen are grateful for and inspired by our activists.

Now we wait for President Obama’s response.

While millions of families are still struggling in this Great Recession, big banks are busy inventing new, deceptive ways to lift money from consumers’ wallets. It’s critical that the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau get to work as soon as possible, with Elizabeth Warren in charge.

We’ll let you know what happens, and how to continue working for a fair, sustainable economy.

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