Organizatons, Businesses, and Activist Advise Barack Obama on his First Day in Office

8606 Greenwood Avenue, #2
Takoma Park, MD 20912


January 21, 2009

President Barack H. Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear President Obama:

We, the undersigned sustainable energy and environmental organizations, businesses, and individual advocates, are writing to urge that you undertake several administrative actions that can immediately begin to fulfill your earlier promises to aggressively confront the problem of global climate change.

These recommendations are not intended to be comprehensive.  Clearly, there is much more that can – and must – be done to support improved energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy as well as to rapidly expand the use of renewable energy sources for electricity, transportation, heating and cooling, and other purposes.  However, many of the necessary strategies for addressing climate change – as well as for reducing energy imports and creating “green” jobs – will need to be developed cooperatively with the U.S. Congress in the months ahead.  The actions we are now proposing below are steps that can be taken administratively by you and the members of the Executive Branch in the first days of your Administration.

** Direct the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to initiate a rulemaking under the Clean Air Act declaring that carbon dioxide emissions are endangering public health.  This effectively should lead to a national cap on global warming emissions consistent with what science says is necessary to avoid the worst impacts of global warming.  The Supreme Court said in April 2007 the government has authority under current law to regulate carbon dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas.

** Reverse the Bush Administration’s denial of a waiver for California of the Clean Cars Standard under the Clean Air Act and allow it to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles.  California had asked the U.S. EPA for permission to reduce vehicle emissions by 30 percent by 2016, making its tailpipe regulations the toughest in the country and effectively mandating that cars achieve a fuel economy standard of at least 36 miles per gallon within eight years. Seventeen other states had promised to adopt California’s rules, representing in total 45 percent of the nation’s automobile market.

** Similarly, mandate that federal government fleets abide by fuel economy standards similar to those proposed by the State of California.  This could encourage lawmakers to eventually extend that requirement to the entire nation.

** Direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to raise fuel economy standards for cars, light trucks and SUVs to at least 45 miles per gallon over the next decade and a half – and preferably to 50 mpg by 2020 and 200 mpg by 2050 as recommended by the Presidential Climate Action Plan.  Likewise, direct the NHTSA to increase fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks by 50% within the next decade and a half.

** Direct that greenhouse gas emissions be considered whenever the federal government examines the environmental impact of its actions under the existing National Environmental Policy Act.  Order every agency to consider global warming in its actions affecting energy use and managing natural resources and to develop a coordinated, interagency natural resources adaptation strategy.

** Create a national carbon registry, requiring mandatory reporting of greenhouse gases. Congress last year required the EPA to propose a rule that would cover major industrial plants, but the agency missed a key deadline and has not complied with the law. Now, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) operates a voluntary reporting program.

** Begin to make the federal government a carbon-neutral enterprise. As a first step, mandate that all new federal government buildings be carbon-neutral (e.g., designed to be zero-energy).

Again, we recognize that these recommendations are far from comprehensive but, cumulatively, they could have a significant impact and begin the process of reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing global climate change.

In the weeks and months ahead we look forward to opportunities to work with your Administration and the Members of the U.S. Congress to fashion further initiatives that will put the United States on the path to a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.

cc.        Dr. Steven Chu, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
Hillary Clinton, Secretary (nominated), U.S. Department of State
Ray LaHood, Secretary (nominated), U.S. Department of Transportation
Ken Salazar, Secretary, U.S. Department of Interior
Tom Vilsack, Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Lisa P. Jackson, Administrator (nominated), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Nancy Helen Sutley, Chairman (nominated), Council on Environmental Quality
John Holdren, White House Science Adviser (nominated)
Jane Lubchenco, Administrator (nominated), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Carol Browner, White House Energy Coordinator



Dr. Fernando Abruña, FAIA
Abruña & Musgrave, Architects
San Juan, PR

David Smernoff, Board President
Acterra: Action for a Healthy Planet
Palo Alto, CA

Kate Troll, Executive Director
Alaska Conservation Alliance
Anchorage, AK

Rochelle Becker, Executive Director
Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility
San Luis Obispo, CA

Casey Sterr, Executive Director
Appalachia – Science in the Public Interest
Mt. Vernon, KY

Greg Hanson
Aqua Sun International
Minden, NV

Chamomile Nusz: Program and Marketing Director
Artha Sustainable Living Center llc
Amherst, WI

Nancy LaPlaca
Dr. Robert A. Bardwell
Bardwell Consulting, Ltd
Denver, CO

Mike Bergey, President
Bergey Windpower Co.
Norman, OK

Paul Gunter
Beyond Nuclear
Takoma Park, MD

James L. Stewart, Chairman of the Board
BioEnergy Producers Association
Los Angeles, CA

Fernando Ausin, Director of Outreach
Marion, MA

Nancy Givens, CoChair
BGGreen Partnership for a Sustainable Community
Bowling Green, KY

Bob Rose, Executive Director
Breakthrough Technologies Institute
Washington, DC

Kevin Zeese, Executive Director
Campaign for Fresh Air & Clean Politics
Baltimore, MD

Patrick Arnold, Executive Director
Campaign for Ratepayers’ Rights
Concord, NH

Elizabeth C. Battocletti, President
The Carmel Group, LLC
Reston, VA

Arnold E. Karr, Executive Director
Carolina Peace Resource Center
Columbia, SC

W. Donald Hudson, Jr., Ph.D.; President
The Chewonki Foundation
Wiscasset, ME

David Hughes, Executive Director
Citizen Power
Pittsburgh, PA

Adrienne Esposito, Executive Director
Citizens Campaign for the Environment
NY and CT
Farmingdale, NY

Janet Greenwald, Co-coordinator
Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping
Albuqurque, NM

James J. Provenzano, C.Ph., President
Clean Air Now
Riverside, CA

Chris Fried, M.E.
Chris Fried Solar
Tisbury, MA

Caroline Snyder Ph.D. Chair
Citizens for Sludge-Free Land
North Sandwich, NH

Julia Bonds, Co-Director
Coal River Mountain Watch
Whitesville, WV

Joseph Lancaster, Vice President
Cogenic LLC
Rochester, NY

Valerie Heinonen, o.s.u. Consultant,
Corporate Social Responsibility
Dominican Sisters of Hope
Mercy Investment Program
Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of Detroit Charitable Trust
Ursuline Sisters of Tildonk, U.S. Province
New York, NY

Stephen M. Brittle, President
Don’t Waste Arizona
Phoenix, AZ

Jerry Viste, Executive Director
Door County Environmental Council, Inc
Fish Creek, WI

Jan Conley, Board President
Duluth, MN

Rufus Warner, CEO
Earth Capital Partners LLP
London, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney

Al Fritsch
Earth Healing, Inc.
Ravenna, KY

Dan Brook, Ph.D.
San Jose, CA

Meghan Schloat, Policy Manager-US Regulatory Affairs
New York, NY

Alex Casasnovas, President
Energy Alliance of Puerto Rico
San Juan, PR

Joris Rosse, Martin Boksenbaum, Suzie Hall, Philip Jones,
Tom Ickes, Buddy Bealer
Artie Ravitz, Chiharu G. Tokura
Energy Groups of the Alliance for Sustainable Communities – Lehigh Valley Bethlehem, PA

Dave Room, Director
Energy Preparedness
Oakland, CA

Carol Werner, Executive Director
Environmental & Energy Study Institute
Washington, DC

Judi Poulson, Chair
Fairmont, MN Peace Group
Fairmont, MN

Christiaan Beekhuis, President & Chief Technical Officer
Fat Spaniel Technologies, Inc.
San José, CA

Erich Pica
Friends of the Earth
Washington, DC

Mary Luevano
Global Green USA
Santa Monica, CA

Christopher LaForge
Great Northern Solar
Port Wing, WI

Alan Muller, Executive Director
Green Delaware
Port Penn, DE

Bonnie A. New, MD MPH; Executive Director
Health Professionals for Clean Air
Houston, TX

Jennifer O. Viereck, Director
HOME: Healing Ourselves & Mother Earth
Tecopa, CA

David Morris, Co-Director
Brenda Platt, Co-Director
Institute for Local Self-Reliance
Minneapolis, MN

Brian Tokar, Director
Institute for Social Ecology
Plainfield, VT

Ben Rosenthal, Special Projects Coordinator
Isabella Freedman Jewish Retreat Center
Falls Village, CT

Andy McDonald, Director
Kentucky Solar Partnership
Frankfort, KY

Tom Kelly, Director
Berkeley, CA

Betsy Toll, Executive Director
Living Earth
Portland, OR

Richard Komp PhD., President
Maine Solar Energy Association
Jonesport, ME

Kathleen Logan Smith, Executive Director
Missouri Coalition for the Environment
St. Louis, MO

Mark Haim, Chair
Missourians for Safe Energy
Columbia, MO

Judy Treichel, Executive Director
Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force
Las Vegas, NV

John L. Cusack, Executive Director
New Jersey Higher Education Partnership for Sustainability
Newark, NJ

Lynne Kurilovitch, Renewable Energy Instructor
New Mexico Tech
Socorro, NM

George Crocker, Executive Director
North American Water Office
Lake Elmo, MN

Larry E. Bell, President
North East Arizona Energy Services Company
Concho, AZ

Wendy Oser
Nuclear Guardianship Project
Berkeley, CA

Michael Mariotte, Executive Director
Nuclear Information & Resource Service
Takoma Park, MD

Glenn Carroll, Coordinator
Nuclear Watch South
Atlanta, GA

Christine Daum, President
Oasis Montana Inc.
Renewable Energy Supply & Design
Stevensville, MT

Philip Tymon, Administrative Director
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
Occidental, CA

David Smernoff
Pacific Renewable Power
Portola Valley, CA

Thomas C. Lamar, Executive Director
Palouse-Clearwater Environmental Institute
Moscow, ID

Paradigm Design, Inc.
Lawrence, KS

Judi Friedman, Chair
People’s Action for Clean Energy
Canton, CT

Paul D. Maycock
Photovoltaic Energy Systems, Inc.
Williamsburg, VA

Mary Lampert, Director
Pilgrim Watch
Duxbury, MA

Bruce A Drew, Steering Committee
Prairie Island Coalition
Minneapolis, MN

Aviv Goldsmith, President
Precursor Systems, Inc.
Spotsylvania, VA

Jessica Barry, Director of Business Development
Prism Solar Technologies, Inc.
Lake Katrine, NY

Tyson Slocum, Director
Public Citizen’s Energy Program
Washington, DC

Michael Welch
Redwood Alliance
Arcata, CA

Bill Holmberg
Renew the Earth
Vienna, VA

Kathleen Burns, Ph.D.; Director
Lexington, MA

James O. Kennon, President
Sevier Citizens For Clean Air And Water, Inc.
Richfield, UT

Andrea Shipley, Executive Director
Snake River Alliance
Boise, ID

Egon AliOglu, PhD, CEO
Antrim, MA

Christopher W. Stimpson, Executive Campaigner
Solar Nation
Peterborough, NH

Scott Sklar, President
The Stella Group, Ltd.
Arlington, VA

Ken Bossong, Executive Director
SUN DAY Campaign
Takoma Park, MD

Michael Almon, Secretary
Sustainability Action Network
Lawrence, KS

John Neville, USGBC LEED-AP; President
Sustainable Arizona
Sedona, AZ

Rona Fried, Ph.D.; CEO
Huntington Station, NY

Bob Walker
Sustainable Energy Resource Group
Thetford Center, VT

Linda Seeley, President
Terra Foundation
San Luis Obispo, CA

Marylia Kelley, Executive Director
Tri-Valley Communities Against a Radioactive Environment
Livermore, CA

David Bonta, President/CEO
USA Solar Store
Perkinsville, VT

Dr. Fernando Abruña, FAIA; Founder and Past President
US Green Building Council, Caribbean Chapter
San Juan, PR

John Blair, President
Valley Watch, Inc.
Evansville, IN

Debra Stoleroff, Communications
Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance
Montpelier, VT

Eric Alexander, Executive Director
Vision Long Island
Northport, NY

David Nicholson, President
Windhunter Corporation
Sun City Center, FL

Chris Herman, Owner
Winter Sun Design
Edmonds, WA



Eric Bourgeois, Ph.D.
Cambridge, MA

Sandy Centa
Westlake, OH

Marcella Chiarello
Shelburne, VT

Andrea Faste
Sustainable Ballard *
Seattle, WA

Jane Feldman
Las Vegas, NV

Sabodh K. Garg, Ph.D.
Del Mar, CA

Marcia Geyer
Weymouth, MA

Natalie Hanson
Lansing, MI

Harry Hochheiser
Baltimore, MD

Paul Huddy
Solar Institute *
Tucson, AZ

Christina Mills
Windustry *
Minneapolis, MN

Elizabeth C. Moore
Lakewood, CO

Stephen J. Pew
Costa Mesa, CA

Don Richardson, M.D.
Brevard, NC

Dorothy Sulock
University of North Carolina at Asheville *
Asheville, NC

Lorry Swain
South Shore, KY

Stan Swiercz, Project Manager
Bowman Engineering, Inc. *
Pelham, MA

Carolyn Treadway
Normal, IL

* affiliation listed for identification purposes only