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Obama earns 'C' for environmental efforts

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Center for Biological Diversity

Obama earns 'C' for environmental efforts

'Report Card' praises, prods administration for first year green work

  • Courtesy Center for Biological Diversity

The Center for Biological Diversity awarded the Obama administration a C grade for its environmental record Tuesday.

In its "Report Card," the Tucson-based environmental advocates found that the administration has a mixed record on protecting endangered species, climate, public lands and oceans.

"The Obama administration has begun to steer the ship in the right direction," said Noah Greenwald, CBD's endangered species program director, in a news release. "But it has failed to provide the strong leadership to get us on the course we need to be following to address the pressing problems of species extinction and global warming."

On endangered species, CBD gave the Obama administration a first-year grade of C.

The Center cited the government's retaining of a rule that lessens polar bear protection, and moving forward with removing protection for gray wolves as negative marks.

Obama reversed Bush administration moves to weaken enforcement of the Endangered Species Act, which the Center counts as a plus.

"The Obama administration has not prioritized protection of the nation's endangered species, meriting their grade of a C," said Greenwald. "After the dark days of the Bush administration, wholesale reform of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's endangered species program was needed and this has simply not occurred."

The Center gave the administration a C-minus on climate and energy issues.

While praising moves to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, the environmental group faulted the government for not pushing for tighter limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama receives a B-plus for public land management, says the Center. Withdrawing the Bush administration's Western Oregon Plan Revision and limiting logging in the Pacific Northwest meets with the group's approval. Allowing logging in roadless areas of Alaska led to a demerit.

Obama proposed protecting 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon from uranium mining, but the Center says at least one mine is still moving forward.

The Center grades Obama's protection of the oceans a B-minus. Addressing ocean acidification earns kudos, but permitting offshore drilling in Alaska and weakening sea turtle protection doesn't please the group.

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