Daily Kos GreenRoots
Regna Merritt interviewed on the new political scene and the implications for the environment.
Late last week, our Executive Director Regna Merritt received an e-mail request to answer some questions about how the new Obama administration was doing on the environment (review: mixed). The questions ranged from appointments to campaign promises.
And read a few excerpts after the jump.
DK: To what degree do you feel that the Obama Administration listens to environmental organizations such as yours?
RM: President Obama rose to the White House in large part due to a strong grassroots effort. So, we know that his team has a large degree of respect for groups that are tapped into and supported by the grassroots and know what is going on in their area. Environmental groups have always been very good at that. I think we are definitely seeing a trend right now that shows us that the Obama team is willing to hear us out. Certainly much more so than the prior administration.
DK: If you could sit down, alone, with President Obama, what's the first thing you would tell him?
RM: Environmental conservation not only means clean air, clean water, scenic vistas, and a natural legacy for our children and grandchildren—it means sustainable jobs, vibrant economies, and a healthy climate for all. By ending conflicts over old-growth logging, we can focus on restoration activities that create jobs and provide wood products. In restoring the Klamath River, from the wetlands of the upper basin to the salmon spawning grounds of the lower basin, we can bring a river back to life and help communities that rely on the river recover. Pursuing Wilderness designations for our pristine backcountry will bolster local tourism and recreation economies.