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Send a message to President-elect Obama

December 3rd, 2008 by Renée Hoyos

Next week I go to Washington DC in my role as the Board Chair for the national Clean Water Network to meet with President-elect Obama’s transition team.

We have a lot to ask our new president - basically to roll back every executive order signed by Bush in the last eight years and to increase protection for water resources in the coming four, hopefully eight years.

A word of caution, though. Everyone has really high, very high, excruciatingly high expectations of this president and for good reason. The stature of the United States has declined precipitously in the past eight years. We are not the power we think we are. We may flex muscles abroad, but we are weak here at home. Getting our drinking and waste water infrastructure up to par would require something like $400M/year for the next ten years. We must find a more sustainable way to live so that we don’t put ourselves in a position for corporatization of water resources. Or worse, run out of fresh water.

President-elect Obama cannot do everything we want. He will not be able to give us everything we ask. He will fail at some level and that’s not a fault but an inevitability. TCWN will continue to criticize bad decisions whether they are from this president or the next. We will not change our position because we perceive this administration to be friendly. In fact, we plan to make more demands. President-elect Obama thinks preserving a healthy environment is important. We intend to make him live up to that idea.

If you’ve got something you’d like me to pass on to the transition team, post it on this blog. I’ll make sure they get addressed.



6 Responses to “Send a message to President-elect Obama”

  1. WhitesCreek Says:

    Your thoughts on the drinking water and waste water infrastructure seem very timely. With Obama’s announced intention of creating jobs via public works projects, this seems like an excellent time to point out that a clean environment is a win win for public health, the environment, and job creation.

    Um, OK, make that a Win Win Win!


  2. Mello Says:

    I would simply ask that the EPA actually take enforcement actions on laws currently in place. If a state such as Tennessee will not enforce the requirements of their NPDES stormwater program- right down to the county level, then the EPA should be willing to take away the state’s permit. Period. Not so hard to ask for. Fund the enforcement with real fines, not these mediated slaps on the wrist the state gives now. In the long run, prevention is far more affordable than the clean up.

  3. ma am Says:

    Roll back the rule change on stream buffer rule for coal mining.

    This may be off-topic, but I worry about the infrastructure and road-building initiative. We need to repair old roads, NOT build more.

    Good luck!

  4. yellowdog Says:

    Make it harder, not easier, to blow the tops off of mountains and dump the “waste” in the rivers and streams.

    Put people in charge of the government who believe in enforcing the laws to protect our drinking water and then make sure they do so.

  5. Viqui Gayer Says:

    We the people on the island of Guam now face impending death through the plan to contaminate our main water sources on the southern side of our island, Guam. We beseech President Elect Obama to be just and order the misguided decision by Federal Judge Tydinco Gatewood reversed. Please help us Guamanians, who, as subjects of America, host several American military bases.
    The chosen dump site will expose our population to poisons that will killl all the fish and shrimp in our rivers and streams. Then we shall sicken.
    Already we are suffering 300 to 3,000 times the amounts of cancer of the national average because of 106 toxic waste sites filled with cyianaide, agents orange purple, pink and mustard gases… all left her by the U.S. Military from WW2 and Vietnam war. Now we need President Elect Obama to hear our plea to reverse a decision that will kill off our future generations… This is serious. Judge Tydinco Gatewood has ruled that we must become exposed to contaminated waters because of a decree that will literally kill future generations through exposure to contaimination of our water resources.
    We need B. Obama to stand up for us and tell the Federal Government not to kill us by poisoning our waters from the top of our island down by filling our natural cistern and marshes with trash, toxic wastes, etc. that will eventually harm this and future generations long after the dump is filled.
    9-11 killed some 11,000 but the U.S. government can save us , nearly 200,000 in this generation alone from exposure to contaminated water if they will stop this horrifyingly misguided order by Judge Tydinco -Gatewood.
    We are begging Obama to stop the placement of our dump at Dan Dan and to move it to Piti where American nuclear warships have already polluted those waters. Please, Barach, save us. Respond to me at 671-472-2229,

  6. Tim M. Says:

    Mr. President, I just want to congratulate you and wish you luck as well as let you know, that I am not waiting for you to do something about our predicament, I am going out now and rolling up my sleeves to do my part and take care of myself and my family. This is going to take time and a monumental effort from all and the more we can do our part individually, the better we will all do in the long run. Thank you for your dedication and efforts to make a better world, now it’s time for us to do our part as individuals.

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