2015 Earth Day

04/21/2015

Earth Day
Earth Day is April 22

Environmental Action means taking the simple steps in the place where we live. By choosing to act on five or more of these ideas you are joining thousands of others who are doing all they can to be a good and responsible citizen of the world.

Volunteer or Attend a Earth Day Event near you

Environmental Action You Can Take:
At home and in the garden
At work
At school
While shopping
In your community
On the road

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The Obama Administration is committed to protecting the air we breathe, water we drink, and land that supports and sustains us. From restoring ecosystems in the Chesapeake Bay and the Everglades, to reducing mercury pollution from power plants, we are bringing together Federal agencies to tackle America’s greatest environmental challenges such as:

* Recovery Act Investments in our Environment
Protecting Our Oceans 
Supporting Land Conservation
Prioritizing Clean Water
Reducing the Environmental Impacts of Mountaintop Coal Mining
Reducing Air Pollution From Vehicles and from Power Plants
Restoring our Treasured Great Ecosystems
Working Toward Environmental Justice
Supporting Sustainable Communities
Modernizing the National Environmental Policy Act
Reducing Global Emissions of Mercury
* DOI, EPA, NOAA announced Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative to prepare natural resources for climate change
FACT SHEET: New Steps to Protect People, Places and Local Economies from Climate Change
Presidential Proclamation — Earth Day, 2015

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#EarthDayEveryDay

#ActOnClimate

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April 22, 2015
President Obama delivers remarks on climate change
Everglades National Park, Florida

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Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2015

04/12/2015

Good Jobs Green Jobs 2014Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2015 - Speaker Elizabeth WarrenGood Jobs, Green Jobs 2015

Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2015 takes place April 13 in Washington, D.C. at the Washington Hilton Hotel. Good Jobs, Green Jobs is the nation’s leading forum for strategizing and implementing environmental solutions that create and maintain quality, family-sustaining jobs and ensure the health and safety of our workplaces and communities.

This year’s Conference is focused on Energizing America. Our energy infrastructure is critical to determining how we address the threat of climate change, how we create family-sustaining jobs and increase global competitiveness, and how we protect the environment and secure the economy for generations to come. Accelerating the deployment of renewable energy, scaling up energy efficiency in our built environment, and upgrading and repairing our energy distribution systems are all critical components of achieving that goal.

The 2015 Conference will build upon the success of previous Conferences that brought together thousands of business, labor, environmental and non-profit leaders to turn ideas into action.

For more: http://www.greenjobsconference.org/about

Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2015 FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/goodjobsgreenjobs

Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2015 Twitter: https://twitter.com/gjgjconference

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Monday, April 13, 2015
Vice President Biden delivers remarks
Good Jobs, Green Jobs 2015
Washington Hilton Hotel, Washington, D.C.

#GJGJ2015

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Pres Obama Designates Pullman Natl Monument, Brown’s Canyon Natl Monument & Honouliuli Natl Monument

02/18/2015

National Monument in the United States is a protected area that is similar to a National Park except that the President of the United States can quickly declare an area of the United States to be a National Monument without the approval of Congress. National monuments receive less funding and afford fewer protections to wildlife than national parks. However, areas within and extending beyond national parks, monuments, and national forests can be part of wilderness areas, which have an even greater degree of protection than a national park would alone, although wilderness areas managed by the United States Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management often allow hunting and grazing.

National monuments can be managed by one of several federal agencies: the National Park Service, United States Forest Service, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, or Bureau of Land Management. National monuments can also be privately managed.

National monuments can be so designated through the power of the Antiquities Act of 1906. President Theodore Roosevelt used the act to declare Devils Tower in Wyoming as the first national monument. He thought Congress was moving too slowly and it would be ruined by the time they made it a national park.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Monument_(United

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February 19, 2015

FACT SHEET: Launching the Every Kid in a Park Initiative and Designating New National Monuments

As part of President Obama’s commitment to protect our Nation’s unique outdoor spaces and ensure that every American has the opportunity to visit and enjoy them, today he will launch an “Every Kid in a Park” initiative that will provide all fourth grade students and their families with free admission to National Parks and other federal lands and waters for a full year. He will also announce the creation of three new National Monuments across the country.

The President will make the announcements near the site of the historic Pullman town in Chicago, a location iconic for its history of labor unrest and civil rights advances, which will be the City’s first National Park Service (NPS) unit. He also will announce that he will designate Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii, the site of an internment camp where Japanese American citizens, resident immigrants, and prisoners of war were held captive during World War II, and Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado, an historic site of extraordinary beauty with world-class recreational opportunities that attract visitors from around the globe. Together, these monuments will help tell the story of significant events in American history and protect unique natural resources for the benefit of all Americans.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2015/02/19/fact-sheet-launching-every-kid-park-initiative-and-designating-new-natio

Pullman Historical District

"Oriental Limited dining car" hand painted photograph by Great Northern Railway . Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

“Oriental Limited dining car” hand painted photograph by Great Northern Railway . Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

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Pullman Porter – Unionization

The Order of Sleeping Car Conductors was organized on February 20, 1918, in Kansas City, Missouri. Members had to be white males. Because the order did not admit blacks, A. Philip Randolph began organizing the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters.Using the motto “Fight or Be Slaves”, on August 25, 1925, 500 porters met in Harlem and decided to make an effort to organize. Under Randolph’s leadership the first black union, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, was formed and slowly working conditions and salaries improved.

By forming the first black labor union the Pullman porters also laid the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement, which began in the 1950s. Union organizer and former Pullman porter E. D. Nixon played a crucial role in organizing the landmark Montgomery Bus Boycott in Alabama in 1955. It was he who bailed Rosa Parks out of jail after she refused to move on the bus, and who selected her as the figure to build the boycott around.

By the 1960s, between the decline of the passenger rail system and the cultural shifts in American society, the Pullman porters’ contribution became obscured, becoming for some in the African American community a symbol of subservience to cultural and economic domination.

The Pullman Company went out of business in 1969, and the railroads no longer followed the practice of hiring only black men as porters. In 1978, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters merged with the larger Brotherhood of Railway and Airline Clerks.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_porter#Unionization

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President Obama to make Chicago district a national monument

February 10, 2015 Mary Wisniewski – Reuters

CHICAGO (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will designate part of Chicago’s Pullman neighborhood, a site famous in the history of urban planning, labor and the civil rights movement, as a national monument, the White House said on Tuesday.

Obama once worked as a community advocate in the neighborhood on the far south side of the nation’s third largest city.

The district’s brick homes and ornate public buildings were built in the late 1800s by industrialist George Pullman

as a blue-collar utopia to house workers for his railroad sleep car factory. An 1894 strike by workers led to bloody conflicts.

Pullman car workers later organized as the first African-American-led union chartered by the American Federation of Labor. It is credited with helping build the nation’s black middle class.

“It is a place where people can commemorate, celebrate and learn from our past and discuss the future of our nation,” Michael A. Shymanski, president of the Historic Pullman Foundation, said in a statement.

For more: http://news.yahoo.com/president-obama-chicago-district-national-monument-173640537.html;_ylt=AwrTWf1rfd9UziUAMy3QtDMD

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Brown's Canyon, Arkansas River, CO

Brown’s Canyon, Arkansas River, CO

Browns Canyon National Monument in Colorado:
This monument will protect a stunning section of Colorado’s upper Arkansas River Valley. Located in Chaffee County near the town of Salida, Colorado, the 21,586-acre monument features rugged granite cliffs, colorful rock outcroppings, and mountain vistas that are home to a diversity of plants and wildlife, including bighorn sheep and golden eagles. Members of Congress, local elected officials, conservation advocates, and community members have worked for more than a decade to protect the area, which hosts world-class recreational opportunities that attract visitors from around the globe for hiking, whitewater rafting, hunting and fishing. In addition to supporting this vibrant outdoor recreation economy, the designation will protect the critical watershed and honor existing water rights and uses, such as grazing and hunting. The monument will be cooperatively managed by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and USDA’s National Forest Service.

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Honouliuli Internment Camp, Kunia, Hawai'i

Honouliuli Internment Camp, Kunia, Hawai’i

Obama to designate Honouliuli Internment Camp as national monument

Feb 18, 2015 10:01 AM PST By Melanie Yamaguchi – HawaiiNewsNow

KUNIA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) –

A significant symbol of Japanese-American history, hidden deep within an overgrown gulch in Kunia, will soon gain more recognition as President Barack Obama plans to designate the Honouliuli Internment Camp as a national historic monument.

Honouliuli, one of Hawai’i’s largest and longest-used World War II internment camps, was constructed in 1943 to hold more than 300 internees and 4,000 prisoners of war. Dubbed “jigoku danji” or “hell valley” by inhabitants, Honouliuli is often looked back on as a dark period in history when thousands of Japanese-Americans in Hawaii and across the country were forced into internment camps under excruciating conditions during World War II.

The overgrown gulch where Honouliuli resides has kept the 120-acre site hidden from view and largely untouched. However, Thursday’s designation announcement will mark a major historical change, putting the internment camp under the management of the National Park Service to help preserve its history and ultimately shed a light on the untold stories of the site.

The announcement has been long anticipated by some members of Congress and other entities – such as the Japanese Cultural Center and Japanese American Citizens League – who have been pushing for the designation.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said on an interview on Hawaii News Now Sunrise that many people in Hawaii still don’t know there was an internment camp here, but the designation will provide resources necessary to be presented in the way it should be.

For more: http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/28139552/president-obama-to-designate-honouliuli-internment-camp-as-national-monument

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  • Feb 19,1942  Executive Order 9066, which allowed local military commanders to designate “military areas” as “exclusion zones,” from which “any or all persons may be excluded.” This power was used to evacuate and relocate Japanese-Americans to internment camps during World War II
  • Feb 19, 1999 Justice Department’s acknowledges, apologizes, and makes restitution for the fundamental injustice of the evacuation, relocation, and internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II

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Thursday, February 19, 2015
President Obama designates new national monuments: 
The Pullman National MonumentChicago, Illinois
Brown’s Canyon National Monument, Colorado
Honouliuli National Monument, Kunia, Hawai’i

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National Monuments Established by President Obama

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Endangered Species Act of 1973 – 41st Anniversary

12/27/2014

Endangered Species Act

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA; 7 U.S.C. § 136, 16 U.S.C. § 1531 et seq.) is one of the dozens of United States environmental laws passed in the 1970s. Signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973, it was designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a “consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation.” The U.S. Supreme Courtfound that “the plain intent of Congress in enacting” the ESA “was to halt and reverse the trend toward species extinction, whatever the cost.”

The Act is administered by two federal agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Source:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endangered_species_act

* View and learn more about each section of the Act.
* Learn the history of the Act.
* Know your species map: http://www.fws.gov/endangered/map/index.html
* Access the full library of documents related to the Endangered Species Act..
* View and learn more about each section of the Act.
* Learn the history of the Act.
* Access the full library of documents related to the Endangered Species Act.
* U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Releases 2014 List of Candidates for Endangered Species Act Protection

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US Using Trade Pacts to Fight Wildlife Poaching

June 17, 2014 7:12 AM VOAnews

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman said wildlife poaching is funding terrorism and corruption.

For that reason, Froman said, the U.S. considers poaching a threat to global security because it’s driven by criminal elements, including terrorists using profits from items such as rhinoceros horns and elephant tusks to finance their activities.

To meet the threat, U.S. officials are emphasizing the environmental component of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade agreement that the United States is negotiating with 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, Froman said in a Reuters report.

Similar efforts are also part of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership agreement with the European Union, Reuters reported.

Froman spoke at a news conference at Kennedy Airport in New York Monday, standing next to a table heaped with illegal wildlife goods seized by U.S. customs officials.

They included stuffed lion and leopard heads, animal skins and figurines carved out of ivory.

Froman said terrorists use money gained from the illegal wildlife trade in Africa and Asia to fund their deadly activities.

U.S. officials have said they are working to reduce demand for illegal animal products at home and abroad, including Asia, where some believe such goods as powdered rhinoceros have medicinal benefits.

“The high demand for wildlife products is having a devastating impact, with iconic species like elephants and rhinos facing the risk of significant decline or even extinction,” Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said in a statement reported by Reuters.

“The president’s strategy to combat wildlife trafficking, including decreasing demand at home and abroad, is important to strengthen our nation’s leadership on countering the global security threat posed by the criminal markets that encourage poaching and illegal trade,” Jewell said.

 

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Celebrating a Milestone in Conservation – and the Law that Made it Possible

Posted by Dan Ashe on September 19, 2014 at 04:52 PM EST

Just a few weeks ago, I was at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History remembering an unfortunately dark moment in conservation history – exactly a century before, on September 1, 1914, the last known passenger pigeon died in a Cincinnati zoo. You can see “Martha,” as they called her, on display at the museum – stuffed, mounted and behind glass.

And now today, we mark an historic milestone of a far different sort on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. At Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and I were privileged to announce that thanks to concerted conservation efforts by area landowners and other partners, the Delmarva Peninsula fox squirrel has recovered from the brink of extinction.

So why did the passenger pigeon become extinct, while the equally common fox squirrel now thrives across much of its historic range?

The answer is simple. Unlike the passenger pigeon, the Delmarva fox squirrel was protected and aided in its recovery by the Endangered Species Act.

In fact, the fox squirrel was one of 67 species listed under the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1967 and later extended protection by the federal law that succeeded it, the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/09/19/celebrating-milestone-conservation-and-law-made-it-possible

Bo & Sunny Approved

Bo & Sunny Approved

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President Obama 2014 Year In Review

12/18/2014

YEAR IN REVIEW: Creating Economic Opportunity for All Americans in 2014

December 18, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama took office in the depths of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  Six years later, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, and the decisive actions he took early on – to bring the economy back from the brink, to save the auto industry, and to build a new foundation for middle-class growth – we’ve made real progress.

The economy grew at a combined 4.2% pace in the second and third quarters of this year, the strongest six-month period of growth in more than a decade.  American businesses have added new jobs for 57 consecutive months, the longest streak of private-sector job creation on record, for a total of 10.9 million new jobs. The pickup in the pace of job growth this year has come in industries with higher wages.  And wages across the economy are rising – a very welcome sign for millions of American families.

The U.S. economic recovery took a major step forward in 2014, achieving a number of important milestones:

The President pledged that 2014 would be a year of action and he has spent the last 12 months working with Congress where he could and taking action on his own where needed to revitalize the economy. He also worked closely with leaders from businesses, nonprofits, education, and communities to expand opportunity for more American families. These efforts have helped contribute to economic progress in a number of ways. Some critical efforts include:

Supporting Job Creation Through Manufacturing and Exports

Manufacturing job growth doubled this year – to about 15,000 jobs per month compared to 7,000 jobs per month last year. In total, since February 2010, the United States has directly added 764,000 manufacturing jobs, with the sector expanding employment at its fastest rate in nearly two decades. And the United States’ renewed competitiveness in manufacturing is bringing production back, with 54 percent of U.S.-based manufacturers surveyed by the Boston Consulting Group actively considering bringing production back from China to the United States, up from 37 percent only 18 months prior. The Administration has helped support these efforts by taking steps including:

  • Launching New Hubs as Part of a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation
  • Supporting Efforts to Foster Manufacturing Entrepreneurship and Investment in the United States
  • Growing Our Investments in Advanced Manufacturing Research
  • Another Year of Record-Breaking Exports
    • The Made in Rural America Initiative Leads to a Boost in Small Rural Manufacturing Exports and Other Companies
    • Intensifying and Broadening Our Export Promotion
    • The Advocacy Center at the Department of Commerce Enjoyed a Record-Breaking Year in Helping U.S. Firms Win Contracts Abroad to Create Jobs at Home

Taking Action to Raise the Minimum Wage

Following President Obama’s call on Congress to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10, states, cities and counties, and business leaders have taken action on their own to increase wages across the country. And on February 12, President Obama signed Executive Order 13658, requiring that workers on new Federal contracts be paid $10.10 an hour.

  • 14 States Passed Minimum Wage Increases – and 7 Million Workers Are Set to Benefit From Increases Passed Since the President’s Initial Call in 2013
  • Cities and Counties Have Also Taken Steps to Raise Wages
  • Businesses – Both Large and Small – Are Taking Action
  • President Obama’s Action will Ensure that All Employees of Federal Contractors are Paid at Least $10.10 an HourSupporting Job Skills and Employment Opportunities

Working with Congress, businesses, states and cities and non-profits, the President has taken action to make sure our job-training system is preparing and connecting Americans to the jobs that employers are looking to fill. From an across-the-board review of our job-training system to new grants that support apprenticeships and help connect the long-term unemployed to work, the President and his Administration have used every tool available to train Americans with the skills they need, and connect them with businesses that are looking for skilled workers.

  • Reforming Our Job-Training System to Make It Demand Driven
  • Passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act
  • Getting Long-Term Unemployed Americans Back to Work: President Obama issued a three-part call to action – to employers, to communities across the country, and to federal agencies – to help Americans who are out of work, including the long-term unemployed, find jobs or get the skills they need so they can succeed in the labor force. Since that call to action, long-term unemployment has declined by 1.1 million and progress has been made on all three fronts, including:
    • $170 million in grants awarded in October to programs in 20 states and Puerto Rico to partnerships between non-profits, local government, and employers to train and match long-term unemployed job seekers for in-demand jobs.
    • A new set of best practices for hiring and recruiting the long-term unemployed signed by over 200 businesses – including 80 of the nation’s largest companies – to ensure that these candidates receive a fair shot during the hiring process.
    • Toolkits created by Deloitte Consulting in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation and with the input of about 100 White House Best Practice signatories to help more employers implement the best practices.
    • Finally, following up on a Presidential Memorandum issued in January, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued guidance to Federal agencies to ensure that individuals who are unemployed or have faced financial difficulties because of circumstances like job loss receive fair treatment and consideration for employment by Federal agencies.
  • $450 Million in Grants to Nearly 270 Community Colleges Partnering with More than 400 Employers Nationally
  • Investing in a Competitive Workforce Through Apprenticeships

Providing High-Quality Education to America’s Students

Ensuring that all Americans are prepared for the jobs of the future and strengthening middle-class security, starts with a strong education system.  The President has taken a number of steps over the past year to expand access to high-quality early childhood education, connect every student to high-speed Internet, and make college more affordable.

  • Committing to Affordable Higher Education
    • Expanding Pay As You Earn (PAYE)
    • The President and First Lady’s Call to Action on College Opportunity
    • Protecting Students from Unaffordable Debts at Career College Programs
  • Committing to Early Education: Throughout 2013 and 2014, the President challenged states, business leaders, and Congress to help more children gain access to the early education they need to succeed in school and in life.  On December 10, 2014, the President convened philanthropists, educators, community leaders and others to announce a collective investment of over $1 billion for early childhood education.  Federal commitments of $750 million will support early learning for over 63,000 children while corporate and philanthropic leaders’ independent commitments of $330 million will expand the reach and enhance the quality for thousands more.
  • ConnectED to the Future:  In June 2013, President Obama visited Mooresville, NC to announce the ConnectED Initiative, which aims to ensure 99% of American students will have access to next-generation broadband in the classroom by 2017, and called for private sector leaders and the FCC To help connect our students. Since that time, the FCC has taken steps to modernize the E-rate program to support high-speed connectivity for America’s schools and libraries, providing a $2 billion down payment and passing a proposal that provides recourses needed to meet the President’s ConnectED goals.  Additionally, private-sector companies have committed more than $2 billion in resources to schools to supplement federal actions and help support cutting-edge technologies across a greater number of schools and homes. On November 19, 2014, The President hosted school leaders and educators to push this effort forward and make all schools “Future Ready”.  More than 1,200 superintendents joined the Administrations Future Ready District Pledge to set a vision for digital learning across America.  Combined, this pledge will already reach 10 million students across 16,000 schools.

For the entire article: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/18/year-review-creating-economic-opportunity-all-americans-2014

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UPDATE:

12/23/14 Financial Headlines:

Dow Busts Through 18,000 on Hot GDP and a Patient Fed

FHFA House Price Index Up 0.6 Percent in October

Consumer Sentiment Ends 2014 at Seven-Year High in Michigan Poll

Economy Grows by 5% Most in a Decade on U.S. Consumer-Spending Gain

Pres Obama Year of Action

2014 the Year of Action

In his 2014 State of the Union, the President said that 2014 would be a “year of action” to ensure opportunity for all Americans. He’s making good on that promise (despite that Congress did not help, labeling them the ‘Worst Congress ever’.

What does a “year of action” mean, exactly?
The President will continue to work with Congress wherever he can to keep our economy moving forward and creating jobs. But in the meantime, he’s also going to do everything he can on his own to fight for middle-class families every single day.

And he’s been busy. Using his pen and his phone, the President has helped create new manufacturing jobs, expand apprenticeships, and job training, make student loan payments more affordable, support equal pay and workplace flexibility, cut carbon pollution, and rally support across the country while raising the minimum wage for all workers on new federal contracts. And that’s not all.

Here’s an update on the more than 40 actions he’s taken since January to do just that.

Learn more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/year-of-action

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List of President Obama’s 2014 Executive Actions to Help Americans – ProPresObama compilation

Pres Obama US - Cuba Relations

and on 12/17/14 President Obama Charts a New Course on US – Cuba Relations

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Ending Pirate Fishing & Seafood Fraud & Protecting Alaska’s Bristol Bay

12/16/2014
Seafood fraud can happen at any point in the supply chain, undermining law-abiding fishers and misleading consumers. (Photo credit: NOAA)

Seafood fraud can happen at any point in the supply chain, undermining law-abiding fishers and misleading consumers. (Photo credit: NOAA)

New Recommendations to End Pirate Fishing and Seafood Fraud

America’s fisheries drive coastal economies and put food on the tables of families across the country. Unfortunately, the twin global issues of illegal, unreported, and unregulated (IUU) fishing and seafood fraud undermine the economic and environmental sustainability of fisheries and fish stocks.

Global losses attributable to IUU fishing are estimated at $10 billion to $23 billion annually. Pirate fishing vessels take in fish without regard to the sustainability of ocean ecosystems. Not required to file trip plans or carry transponders, the ships roam the oceans in the shadows and become vectors for human, drug, and arms trafficking. Black-market fishing distorts legal markets and displaces law-abiding fishermen, ultimately serving as a drag on the global economy. These challenges can be compounded by seafood fraud — the mislabeling, misbranding, or falsification of product origins — which can occur at any point in the supply chain.

Today, the federal task force on combatting IUU fishing and seafood fraud released its final recommendations to tackle these complex challenges. President Obama announced the creation of the task force at the State Department’s Our Ocean conference in June, and for the last six months, under the leadership of NOAA Administrator Kathy Sullivan and Under Secretary of State Cathy Novelli, representatives from 14 agencies have come together to answer the President’s call to action.

The 15 recommendations being released by the task force today will:

  • Combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud at the international level by directing agencies to identify specific diplomatic, development assistance, and trade-related actions
  • Strengthen enforcement and enhance enforcement tools to combat IUU fishing and seafood fraud by improving resource and information sharing and supporting risk-based targeting of illicit seafood shipments
  • Create and expand partnerships with state and local governments, industry, and non-governmental organizations to identify and eliminate seafood fraud and IUU seafood in U.S. commerce
  • Create a risk-based traceability program to track seafood from harvest to entry into the U.S. commerce to prevent entry of illegal product into the supply chain and better inform retailers and consumers.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/12/16/new-recommendations-end-pirate-fishing-and-seafood-fraud

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bristol baybristol bay - whale tail
President Obama Protects Alaska’s Bristol Bay From Future Oil and Gas Drilling

Published on Dec 16, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Obama designated the pristine waters of Bristol Bay as off limits to consideration for oil and gas leasing.  This action safeguards one of the nation’s most productive fisheries and preserves an ecologically rich area of the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska that is vital to the commercial fishing and tourism economy and to Alaska Native communities.

Bristol Bay is at the heart one of the world’s most valuable fisheries, helping to provide 40 percent of America’s wild-caught seafood and support a $2 billion annual fishing industry.  The beautiful and remote area is also an economic engine for tourism in Alaska, driving $100 million in recreational fishing and tourism activity every year. Bristol Bay hosts the largest runs of wild sockeye salmon in the world, and provides important habitat for many species, including the threatened Stellar’s eider, sea otters, seals, walruses, Beluga and Killer whales, and the endangered North Pacific Right Whale.

Today’s decision to withdraw the area from all future oil and gas leasing extends indefinitely a temporary withdrawal that President Obama issued in 2010 and was set to expire in 2017.  This action builds on decades of local efforts to protect Bristol Bay from oil and gas development by Alaska Native tribes and organizations, as well as local seafood and tourism businesses that create jobs and strengthen Alaska and the nation’s economy. It also honors the legacy of Alaska residents like Harold ‘Harvey’ Samuelsen, a salmon fisherman who is legendary for his lifelong dedication to Bristol Bay and to creating economic opportunities for Alaska Native and rural communities.

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/12/16/president-obama-protects-alaska-s-bristol-bay-future-oil-and-gas-drillin


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5 Things You Need to Know About Alaska’s Bristol Bay

Tanya Somanader December 16, 2014 05:12 PM EST

1. BRISTOL BAY PROVIDES 40 PERCENT OF AMERICA’S WILD-CAUGHT SEAFOOD.
Bristol Bay is one of the world’s most valuable fisheries, providing 40 percent of America’s seafood and supporting up to $2 billion in commercial fishing every year.

2. BRISTOL BAY HOSTS ONE OF THE WORLD’S LARGEST WILD SALMON RUNS.
While remote, this area is also an economic engine for tourism in Alaska. Bristol Bay drives $100 million in recreational fishing and tourism activity every year.

3. BRISTOL BAY IS HOME TO MULTIPLE THREATENED SPECIES.
Bristol Bay provides important habitat for many species, including the threatened Stellar’s eider, sea otters, seals, walruses, Beluga and Killer whales, and the endangered North Pacific Right Whale.

4. THE PRESIDENT’S ACTION PROTECTS MILLIONS OF ACRES FROM DRILLING.
The North Aleutian Basin Planning Area that includes Bristol Bay consists of about 32.5 million acres. The previous Administration set in motion a new lease sale for 2011 that would have opened approximately 5.6 million acres — about one-fifth of the planning area — for drilling. In 2010, President Obama temporarily withdrew the Bristol Bay area from oil and gas development, and today’s action extends that protection indefinitely.

5. PRESIDENT OBAMA IS NOT THE ONLY PRESIDENT TO USE HIS EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY TO PROTECT LANDS.
The President issues his temporary withdrawal in 2010 using his authority under section 12 of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, which gives the president authority to withdraw offshore areas from potential oil and gas leasing. President Eisenhower was the first to exercise the authority in 1960, withdrawing an area now included in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Since then, presidents on both sides of the aisle have acted to withdraw areas of the Outer Continental Shelf from oil and gas leasing.

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Reaction to President Obama’s Presidential Memorandum

Oceana Hails Announcement as Huge Victory for Our Wallets, Health & Oceans – Oceana

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President Obama Calls on Congress to Protect Arctic Refuge as Wilderness

John Podesta, Mike Boots January 25, 2015 11:00 AM EST

Each year, as the darkness of the Arctic winter brightens into spring, as the snow melts and the hills and valleys slowly turn green, the tens of thousands of members of the Porcupine caribou herd begin their great migration — traveling some 1,500 miles through Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to their calving grounds on the Coastal Plain.

This far northern region is known as “The Sacred Place Where Life Begins” to Alaska Native communities. The Refuge sustains the most diverse array of wildlife in the entire Arctic — home not only to the Porcupine caribou, but to polar bears, gray wolves, and muskoxen. Bird species from the Coastal Plain migrate to all 50 states of the country — meaning that no matter where you live, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is part of your landscape.

But the majority of the Refuge is not protected as wilderness, including the Coastal Plain. For more than three decades, some voices have clamored to drill for oil in the Coastal Plain — a move that could irreparably damage this ecological treasure and harm the Alaska Native communities who still depend on the caribou for subsistence.

Today, the Department of the Interior released a revised Comprehensive Conservation Plan to better sustain and manage the entire Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — and President Obama took it a step further and announced his plans to ask Congress to designate the Coastal Plain and other core areas of the refuge as wilderness:

For more: http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/01/25/president-obama-calls-congress-protect-arctic-refuge-wilderness

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World AIDS Day 2014

11/30/2014

World AIDS Day, observed December 1 each year, is dedicated to raising awareness of the AIDS pandemic caused by the spread of HIV infection. It is common to hold memorials to honor persons who have died from HIV/AIDS on this day. Government and health officials also observe the event, often with speeches or forums on the AIDS topics. Since 1995, the President of the United States has made an official proclamation on World AIDS Day. Governments of other nations have followed suit and issued similar announcements.

AIDS has killed more than 25 million people between 1981 and 2007, and an estimated 33.2 million people worldwide live with HIV as of 2007, making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. Despite recent, improved access to antiretroviral treatment and care in many regions of the world, the AIDS epidemic claimed an estimated 2 million lives in 2007, of which about 270,000 were children.

For more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_AIDS_Day

 

U.S. Office of National AIDS Policy http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/onap

* Download the National HIV/AIDS Strategy (PDF)
* Download the National HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation Plan (PDF)
* Key activities ONAP has undertaken so far
* Next steps in developing the National HIV/AIDS Strategy

* December 01, 2014 FACT SHEET: Focus, Partner, Achieve – the U.S. Commitment to Addressing HIV/AIDS


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Presidential ProclamationWorld AIDS Day, 2014

United Nations – World AIDS Day, 1 December

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