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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Change to Come

Air Date: Week of

(A pro-drilling delegate at the Republican National Convention. (Photo: Bobby Bascomb)

From “drill, baby, drill” to “clean energy now,” it’s been a long campaign season. Host Steve Curwood and Washington correspondent Jeff Young, with the help of some of our listeners, look at the changes – and challenges - that may lie ahead for the next administration.


YOUNG: Our listeners weighed in on what direction they think Obama should go. Claudia Miller from Kent, Ohio, wrote, “I would very much like to convert our home to geothermal energy for heating. It would help me to be able to take advantage of a low interest “mortgage” type loan. So I would like to see programs to help homeowners utilize geo-thermal, solar, wind, biofuel, and other green energy sources.”

CURWOOD: And Jay Turner of San Jose, California, was one among many who wrote to us urging that the next administration, the Obama administration, reengage with the international negotiations over climate change.

And Jeff, you know, that brings up the fact that next month in Poland there is a meeting of the climate change negotiations, a very important one, and I’m wondering who the Obama administration may send even before they come into office to these negotiations. During the Bush years, no one over the rank of undersecretary of state ever went to these negotiations.

A pro-drilling delegate at the Republican National Convention. (Photo: Bobby Bascomb)

YOUNG: You’re right, that may be a very important indicator of the priority they place on that. The other thing of course we’re going to see here over the next few weeks is the shape of the cabinet, the Obama cabinet, the names of folks who are going to be heading up these very important positions in environment and energy agencies and that will tell us a lot about the priorities the president places on this and how he plans to achieve his goals here.

CURWOOD: Think about Interior, for example. Now whoever goes there, a lot rides on it. On the one hand, you might have someone who really wants to do a lot of drilling, and a lot of mining, for example, or someone who wants to focus on even expanding the protection of public lands, and bolstering the National Park Service.

YOUNG: And who’s going to head the Environmental Protection Agency? There are some big decisions awaiting whoever walks into that office, and kind of a mess to clean up in that agency as well. So - important decisions, and we’re going to be watching.



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