Weekly Address: President Obama – Providing a Better, Cleaner, Safer Future for Our Children

The President’s Weekly Address post is also an Open News Thread. Feel free to share other news stories in the comments.

From the White HouseWeekly Address

In this week’s address, President Obama discussed the progress we have made to combat global climate change. During the Obama Administration, we have made ambitious investments in clean energy and achieved reductions in carbon emissions – increasing wind power and solar power, and decreasing the amount of carbon pollution from our energy sector to its lowest level in 25 years. We have also set standards to increase the distance cars and light trucks can travel on a gallon of gas every year through 2025. The President noted that although America has become a global leader in the fight against climate change, there’s still work to do. Together, we must continue to work domestically and build upon the progress we’ve made along with other countries – such as the Paris Agreement, the most ambitious climate change agreement in history. President Obama said if we continue to work together, we will leave a better, cleaner, safer future for our children.

Transcript: Weekly Address: Providing a Better, Cleaner, Safer Future for Our Children

Remarks of President Barack Obama as Delivered
Weekly Address, The White House, August 13, 2016

Hi, everybody. One of the most urgent challenges of our time is climate change. We know that 2015 surpassed 2014 as the warmest year on record – and 2016 is on pace to be even hotter.

When I took office, I said this was something we couldn’t kick down the road any longer – that our children’s future depended on our action. So we got to work, and over the past seven-and-a-half years, we’ve made ambitious investments in clean energy, and ambitious reductions in our carbon emissions. We’ve multiplied wind power threefold. We’ve multiplied solar power more than thirtyfold. In parts of America, these clean power sources are finally cheaper than dirtier, conventional power. And carbon pollution from our energy sector is at its lowest level in 25 years, even as we’re continuing to grow our economy.

We’ve invested in energy efficiency, and we’re slashing carbon emissions from appliances, homes, and businesses – saving families money on their energy bills. We’re reforming how we manage federal coal resources, which supply roughly 40% of America’s coal. We’ve set the first-ever national standards limiting the amount of carbon pollution power plants can release into the sky.

We also set standards to increase the distance our cars and light trucks can go on a gallon of gas every year through 2025. And they’re working. At a time when we’ve seen auto sales surge, manufacturers are innovating and bringing new technology to market faster than expected. Over 100 cars, SUVs, and pick-up trucks on the market today already meet our vehicles standards ahead of schedule. And we’ve seen a boom in the plug-in electric vehicle market – with more models, lower battery costs, and more than 16,000 charging stations.

But we’re not done yet. In the weeks and months ahead, we’ll release a second round of fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles. We’ll take steps to meet the goal we set with Canada and Mexico to achieve 50 percent clean power across North America by 2025. And we’ll continue to protect our lands and waters so that our kids and grandkids can enjoy our most beautiful spaces for generations.

There’s still much more to do. But there’s no doubt that America has become a global leader in the fight against climate change. Last year, that leadership helped us bring nearly 200 nations together in Paris around the most ambitious agreement in history to save the one planet we’ve got. That’s not something to tear up – it’s something to build upon. And if we keep pushing, and leading the world in the right direction, there’s no doubt that, together, we can leave a better, cleaner, safer future for our children.

Thanks, everybody. Have a great weekend.

Bolding added.

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  4 comments for “Weekly Address: President Obama – Providing a Better, Cleaner, Safer Future for Our Children

  1. JanF
    August 13, 2016 at 8:28 am

    President Obama has been on vacation this past week but is gearing up for the final sprint of his presidency. One of his legacies will be his bold initiatives to address climate change and the foundation he is laying for a future where our planet is saved from those who live in the present – and the past – and could not care less about the harm we are doing to the only planet we have.

  2. JanF
    August 13, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    In the News: Justice Department Report on Baltimore Police Dept …

    Published on Aug 11, 2016
    The Justice Department announced today that it found reasonable cause to believe that the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution as well as federal anti-discrimination laws. BPD makes stops, searches and arrests without the required justification; uses enforcement strategies that unlawfully subject African Americans to disproportionate rates of stops, searches and arrests; uses excessive force; and retaliates against individuals for their constitutionally-protected expression. The pattern or practice results from systemic deficiencies that have persisted within BPD for many years and has exacerbated community distrust of the police, particularly in the African-American community. The city and the department have also entered into an agreement in principle to work together, with community input, to create a federal court-enforceable consent decree addressing the deficiencies found during the investigation.

    Transcript: Head of the Civil Rights Division Vanita Gupta Delivers Remarks at Press Conference Announcing Findings of Investigation into Baltimore Police Department

    • JanF
      August 13, 2016 at 12:57 pm

      Using a Voting Rights Act type of “pre-clearance” to handle Police Reform …

      For the Leadership Conference, which represents more than 200 organizations dedicated to protecting the rights of people of color, that means Congress needs to pass long-idling bills including the End Racial Profiling Act, the Law Enforcement Trust and Integrity Act, and The Stop Militarizing Law Enforcement Act. But there’s one other place Congress should look for solutions for meaningful police reform: The Voting Rights Act.

      So say the Co-Director of the Program in Constitutional Theory, History & Law at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Jason Mazzone, and Stephen Rushin, a law professor at the University of Alabama. Their paper, “From Selma to Ferguson: The Voting Rights Act as a Blueprint for Police Reform,” argues that the civil rights law passed in 1965 to mitigate voter discrimination also offers guidance on how to mitigate rogue policing.

      Under the Voting Rights Act, Congress created a formula that determines which areas of the country warrant federal supervision over their election affairs. That formula was derived by looking at where African Americans were prevented from voting due to obstructions such as literacy tests and poll taxes. It also includes places with historically low voter-registration and turnout rates among African Americans.

  3. JanF
    August 13, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    In the News: Jim Crow and Simone Manuel’s Landmark Achievement …

    WaPo: The significance of Simone Manuel’s swim is clear if you know Jim Crow

    There is a reason the Centers for Disease Control found in 2014 that black progeny between the age of our daughter, 5, and that of Manuel, who turned 20 just before the Rio Games commenced, drown in swimming pools at a rate greater than five times that of white children and teens.

    There is a reason that we hear from time to time of tragic stories like that which rocked Shreveport, La., a few years ago, when six black teenagers drowned in a river trying to save another with them who slipped into the water.

    There is a reason why 70 percent of black teenagers, like those who died in Shreveport, and 60 percent of Hispanic teenagers can’t swim.

    But it isn’t due to some genetic disorder, as some actually believe. It is because of abject irrational racism and Jim Crow and its vestiges.

    SPLC in 2010: Landmark YMCA Desegregation Ruling Turns 40

    Forty years ago this month, Morris Dees won a lawsuit that desegregated the Montgomery, Alabama, YMCA and laid the foundation for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    Despite the sweeping legislative victories of the civil rights movement, the change the new laws promised was slow in coming to the South as community leaders clung fiercely to the last vestiges of segregation. Few lawyers had the willingness or resources to take cases that would challenge the status quo and, often, the most powerful people in town.

    But 40 years ago this month, a young Alabama lawyer named Morris Dees won a lawsuit that desegregated the Montgomery YMCA and laid the foundation for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

    “From the moment this case was filed, it struck a raw nerve in Montgomery,” said Dees, SPLC founder and chief trial counsel. “Almost every important civic leader in Montgomery was on the YMCA’s board of directors. It didn’t sit well with a lot of people at the time, but this case changed Montgomery for the better.”

    Like other cities across the South, Montgomery took the extraordinary step of closing public swimming pools, parks and recreational facilities rather than desegregate them. The city even filled its swimming pools with dirt.

    With the city’s recreational facilities closed, the YMCA experienced phenomenal growth. It became the city’s primary provider of recreation, but on a segregated basis. Black and white children were not only segregated but the children who swam at the pool for blacks were excluded from competing in citywide swim meets.

    Dees filed a class action lawsuit charging that the YMCA refused to accept the boys’ applications because of race.

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