U.S. Group Gives Obama B-Plus Grade On Climate
Author: Deborah Zabarenko
U.S. President Barack Obama attends the morning plenery session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark, December 18, 2009.
Photo: Larry Downing
WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama earned a B-plus grade for his handling of climate and energy issues but could do more to forge a global agreement to curb climate change, the League of Conservation Voters said on Tuesday.
Obama won high marks in his first year in office for pushing for $80 billion in clean energy and energy efficiency as part of the economic stimulus measure he signed into law in February 2009, the conservation group said in a statement.
The group also praised his leadership on the U.S. House of Representatives' passage of legislation that would establish limits on U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases, which contribute to climate change.
Other highlights cited by the group included the granting of California's waiver to impose strict emissions standards for cars and light trucks, and proposing nationwide standards for tailpipe emissions.
The group praised Obama's Cabinet appointments including Lisa Jackson at the Environmental Protection Agency and Stephen Chu at the Energy Department.
The League of Conservation Voters noted that while the House passed climate change legislation, the Senate has not yet acted, leaving the bill's future in doubt.
"While President Obama worked hard to ensure that progress was made in Copenhagen (site of a global climate change meeting in December), the failure to forge a legally binding international agreement created another significant challenge that he must confront in 2010," the group said.
Obama did better than the past two presidents in their first years in office, the group said. The League of Conservation Voters gave President George W. Bush a grade of D-minus for his first year at the White House and President Bill Clinton earned a C-plus.
The grading system ranged from A for excellent, B for good, C for average, D for below average and F for failing.
(Editing by Will Dunham)