President-Elect Obama's Top Eco-Priorities

David Morris of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Maude Barlow, Chair of the Board of Food and Water Watch lay out key priorities for an Obama Administration in terms of transportation and water policy.
November 7, 2008, 7am PST | Michael Dudley
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David Morris: "When it comes to transportation, Obama and Congress could be writing the rules that guide a total investment of as much as $150 billion. What should their priorities be?

1. Reduce the need for physical transportation. The less we travel, the more money we save, the stronger the economy becomes.

2. Enhance the mobility of the poor, the disabled and the car-less. That means emphasizing low-cost mass transit and dial-a-ride programs.

3. Invest in repairing existing structures and roads. This includes patching up public schools, reinforcing old bridges and repairing existing roads for safety reasons. Spending on new roads should be allowed in highly unusual circumstances.

4. Use subsidies to car companies to accelerate a non-oil future."

Maude Barlow:

"President Obama has his work cut out for him. Under President Bush, federal funding for municipal infrastructure projects has all but dried up. Leaky 100-year-old pipes do an enormous amount of damage across the United States every day, polluting waterways and threatening public water supplies. Food and Water Watch is calling for a federal Clean Water Trust Fund to provide the billions of dollars needed to upgrade these decaying structures and protect America's water legacy for future generations. As well, cuts made to clean water programs under the Bush administration must be restored, and a major cleanup of polluted water must be undertaken. Let's hope that Barack Obama becomes our first environmental president and puts the nation's precious water heritage front and center in his plan."

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Published on Thursday, November 6, 2008 in AlterNet
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