CB’s Green Report: Obama Means Business on Green Energy

It only makes sense that this week’s Green Report focus on the environment and the Obama administration after his joint session of Congress address on Tuesday. The Pres has some big ideas to help the environment. In fact, his top priority was energy, which includes producing more renewable energy and reducing America’s dependence on oil from the Middle East. Woo hoo!


Colorado Oil Shaleland

So, it comes as no surprise that President Obama is reversing more of former President George W. Bush’s policies on oil shale. In fact, his Administration recently removed the leases for another round of oil-shale development projects on federal lands in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Ken Salazar, Obama’s Interior Secretary, withdrew a proposal for additional research and oil shale leases due to economic and environmental concerns. He thought the previous proposal in January for research and development on 1.9 million acres was flawed. Salazar told MSNBC that new proposals will “help answer critical questions about oil shale, including about the viability of emerging technologies on a commercial scale, how much water and power would be required, and what impact commercial development would have on land, water, wildlife, and communities.” Now, that’s environmentally responsible leadership.

And President Obama has plans to put his money where his mouth is. His proposed budget, released by the White House recently, would call for $15 billion a year to develop clean-energy technologies, which include solar and wind power. The funding to fight climate change and the country’s dependence on foreign oil would come from auctioning off carbon pollution permits, starting in 2012 (more on this below). Obama’s commitment to tackling climate change is fantastic but Congress is ultimately in charge of the budgeting. And the House and Senate haven’t written a bill yet that regulates greenhouse gases and collects money to do so. Let’s see what Congress and the President can devise to stop global warming.


Environmental change calls for big bucks and a new funding system. To pay for his environmental budget to fight global warming, Obama proposes a “cap and trade” system. Basically, the federal government would require companies like power plants and industrial facilities that emit greenhouse gases linked to global warming to purchase permits. It’s like a costly swap-a-roo. If a company exceeds their greenhouse gases limit (read: cap), then they must buy credits from those that are emitting less.

This new revenue stream could bring in $78.6 billion to the Treasury by 2012. And the auctioning of emission allowances as outlined by the Obama plan is predicted to usher in a whopping $645.7 billion between 2012 and 2019. This is no small change and no small difference. The plan would “cut total emissions 14 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.”

And Obama’s thinking of the little guy too. His proposed plan would take 80 percent of the anticipated revenue (or $526 billion) and subsidize the higher energy costs of low- and middle-income folks through tax credits. And the rest of the dough would go towards alternative, clean energy initiatives. Good thinking Pres!

Missed Obama’s Economic Recovery Speech Tuesday? Find it here!

If you happened to miss President Obama’s speech last Tuesday, please check out the video below. In his joint session of Congress address, he offered a plan for economic recovery that included a focus on energy, healthcare and education. Check out his speech below!

Animal Rights Activists Bark about Biden’s Dog Choice

Although everyone in the world seems to be on bated breath waiting for President-Elect Barack Obama to select a dog for his daughters, Vice President-elect Joe Biden recently chose a new dog for his family. Apparently, Biden also had a similar “election doggie” promise. A writer for the Christian Science Monitor reports that if Obama and Biden won the election, Joe promised to get him and his wife a dog.

Well true to his word, Biden got a dog. He purchased a beautiful three-month-old German Shepherd puppy from breeder, Linda Brown of East Coventry Township, Pennsylvania. According to Delaware Online News, Biden chose the dog because he is familiar with the breed.

However, not everyone is happy about Biden’s decision. Animal rights activists are making a big bark about Biden buying a dog from a commercial breeder instead of getting a rescue or shelter puppy. There are an estimated four million dogs that are euthanized each year because they don’t have a home.

“We are surprised that Sen. Biden chose to purchase a dog from a commercial kennel since he has been a leader on animal-protection issues and has championed a number of important animal-welfare reforms in the Senate,” Michael Markarian, executive vice president of the Humane Society of the United States, told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “President-elect Obama can send a stronger message of hope and change for animals by adopting a homeless dog from an animal shelter or rescue group.”

Even People for the Equal Treatment of Animals (PETA) came out with a statement about Biden’s breeder pup.

“I was extremely disappointed to read that Vice President-elect Joe Biden and his wife bought a dog from a breeder instead of adopting one from an animal shelter,” writes Dore on the PETA blog.  “Obviously he or his wife blanked on Ingrid’s letter, which asked him to consider adopting,” she wrote. ”Every year, U.S. animal shelters are forced to euthanize millions of wonderful, deserving dogs and cats because of the lack of good homes.”

Animal rights advocates are still holding out hope that Obama gets a pound puppy. Meanwhile, check out Biden’s cute puppy on the video below.

Note: Also on Pop + Politics

CB’s Green Report: Obama’s Greenies

Just what we need, a new energy and environmental team. According to Wednesday’s New York Times, Obama’s transition officials said he has selected several key members of this team. For the Secretary of Energy position, Obama has chosen Nobel Prize-winning physicist, Stephen Chu, who also serves as the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. And officials stated he will chose Los Angeles’ deputy mayor for energy and environment, Nancy Sutley, to lead the White House Council on Environmental Quality. Obama’s officials sound as though his selections for head of the Environmental Protection Agency and climate czar are a bit less certain. He has supposedly selected Lisa P. Jackson, New Jersey’s former commissioner of Environmental Protection. If confirmed, Jackson would be the first African American to head the U.S. E.P.A.

And it appears as though Obama’s going to give the top White House position on climate and energy policy to President Bill Clinton’s E.P.A. administrator, Carol M. Browner. If Obama selects Browner, who was an Al Gore follower, she is assumed to have support from several key members of Congress like Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and Representative “Henry A. Waxman of California, who will be the new chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Senator Barbara Boxer of California, who is returning as chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.” Hopefully, Obama’s choices will work out well because he has a tough road ahead to meet his goal of reducing global warming emissions and creating more “green” jobs.

Can you believe there are E.P.A. fugitives? Well, believe it! The Environmental Protection Agency has a web site that list all of the fugitives sought by its Criminal Investigation Division. Are you wondering what gets you on the environmental bad guys list? The site gives a case summary and how to report information about them in case you see one. It’s like America’s Most Wanted for environmental criminals. (I can hear the theme song playing. “Whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Bad Boys. Bad Boys.”) Surprisingly, Bush and members of his administration are not listed.

This report wouldn’t be complete without green gifts for the holidays. CleanTechnica has a list of the 8 Best Green Gadget Gifts. Some of the items include a power strip that tells you the energy efficiency of your appliances with a numerical reading, and a wind-powered electronics charger. These are just a few of the gifts. Pretty cool stuff for the greenie in your life.

Note: Also featured on Pop + Politics

“The Daily Show’s” Take on President Gallant and President Goofus

On Monday’s The Daily Show, Jon Stewart asks the question: “Can’t we just have the guy on the left already?” in the “Clusterf#@k to the Poor House – Goofus and Gallant” skit. The guy who he is referring to is President Gallant (a.k.a. Obama) instead of who is currently in charge, President Goofus (a.k.a. Bush).  With the economy in shambles, Obama is working on creating stimulus packages while Bush is literally “hanging himself.” After examining the efforts of both presidents, Stewart pleads..”Do we really have to wait until January 20th?”

The U.S. is One Step Closer to Hillary Clinton as Obama’s Secretary of State

After much back and forth, examining of Bill Clinton’s financial records, it appears that President-elect Obama is going to offer Hillary Clinton the Secretary of State position in his cabinet. And although Clinton has not formally accepted the position, the Los Angeles Times reports “she is ready to give up her Senate seat.” It looks like it’s going to be a Obama-Clinton team after all. For more, check out the news clip above.


The Caramel Bella

President-Elect Obama May Have To Lose His Crackberry Addiction

President-elect Barack Obama is hip and technology savvy. In fact, many political analysts contend that his use of technology and email during his presidential campaign contributed significantly to his win in the age of Web 2.0. Yet according to a recent New York Times article, as president, Obama may be forced to lose his favorite campaign device: his BlackBerry.

Because of the Presidential Records Act, Obama’s BlackBerry (a hacker liability) poses a national security risk. It also allows the president’s location to be trackable via GPS and cell networks. And the law makes all of his correspondence available for the public to review should they be subpoenaed by Congress. There is no “work only” clause either; his personal emails to his daughters, wife and friends would be combed through as well.

Unlike his self-proclaimed technophobic contender from the general election, Obama will definitely feel the loss. Like most of us (including this author), Obama’s BlackBerry has become a part of his life. For him, the device may have been one of his few escapes to the real world and a much needed lifeline to his friends and family.

“Given how important it is for him to get unfiltered information from as many sources as possible, I can imagine he will miss that freedom,” said Linda Douglass, a senior adviser who traveled with the campaign to the NYT.

In the transition days ahead, our president-elect may have to wean himself off his BlackBerry like he did cigarettes. The former may be harder than the latter.

Note: also posted on Pop + Politics

Poets Sekou “tha Misfit” & Steve Connell Speak Out for Obama

Barack Obama’s recent presidential win along with his entire campaign has inspired millions. On Election Night, I caught up with spoken word artists, Sekou Andrews (aka tha misfit) and Steve Connell, to get their poetic thoughts on the Obama’s win. Andrews and Connell were featured performers at Obama’s California Headquarters celebration. The two artists created a special poem called “Obama Takes America Back” about Obama’s historic win.

Andrews and Connell, both National Poetry Slam Champions, are no strangers to political activism and worked with the Norman Lear “Declare Yourself” campaign back in 2002. For the spoken word artists, the political is personal. And they think the meanings of being a Christian, an environmentalist, and the very definition of democracy among others are changing. Surprisingly, the duo discusses how George W. Bush was a great motivator and how fear caused many Americans to become politically active. Check out the interview above and their performance below.

-The Caramel Bella

Obama Wins: Nov. 5th U.S. Newspaper covers

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

I created a slideshow of several Nov. 5th newspapers covers of President-Elect Barack Obama’s historic win. Check it out. And if you still want to see more covers, click here.

The Caramel Bella

President-Elect Barack Obama’s Victory Speech – “Change has come to America”

Just in case you missed President-Elect Barack Obama’s victory speech given on Tuesday, Nov. 4th, here it is. (Or if you are like me and want to hear it again and again.) It is as inspiring 3 days later as it was on the day it was given. America will never forget these words and this historic day.


The Caramel Bella



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my luvs

My Maltese puppy; lazy Sunday mornings; a day at the Beach; Yoga; breakfast anytime of the day; my gurls (and you know who you are); my family (I’m a daddy’s girl); making new friends; Los Angeles & Washington, DC; ocean views; Anguilla; healthy foods that don’t taste healthy; politics; "greenie" things; meditating; natural curls and movies.

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Bad drivers, cranky and moody people, lack of sleep, crime, filth

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  • profileCARAMEL BELLA: This is my place to write about my adventures and mis-adventures in this thing called life. I discuss my passions: the environment, politics, art & culture, writing as well as yoga, health and spirituality. The one thing you can expect from this blog is that it is not what you expected. Thanks for reading! To reach me email thecaramelbella at gmail.



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