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Megan SlackApril 23, 2014
09:00 PM EDT
On Thursday, President Obama will visit the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation in Tokyo and deliver remarks at an event for youth in science. Tune in here to watch the remarks, starting live at 2:10 am ET.
April 23, 2014
12:54 PM EDT
First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden joined the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) at Fort Campbell on Wednesday at a comprehensive Veterans Jobs Summit and Career Forum.
The First Lady and Dr. Biden's message was clear: our commitment to our service members and their families does not end when their service does, which is why they launched Joining Forces three years ago this month.
Since then, companies who have made commitments to Joining Forces have hired over half a million (540,000) veterans and military spouses. Commitments from America’s biggest firms like UPS, who announced a doubling of their commitment to 50,000 new hires and Xerox who will has committed to hire 10,000 veterans and spouses over the next five years.
April 22, 2014
05:59 PM EDT
To celebrate Earth Day, earlier today U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced the 2014 U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools (ED-GRS) and District Sustainability Award recipients.
Joined in an online live stream by Acting Chief White House Council on Environmental Quality Mike Boots, Secretary Duncan celebrated the 48 schools and 9 school districts chosen for their exemplary efforts in reducing environmental impact and utility costs, promoting better health for students and staff, and offering effective environmental education, including civics, STEM, and green career pathways.
Reiterating the Department’s support for green schools, Secretary Duncan praised the selected schools and districts, stating: “Today’s honorees are modeling a comprehensive approach to being green by encompassing facility, wellness and learning into their daily operations.” Duncan went on to say that the recipients “are demonstrating ways schools can simultaneously cut costs; improve health, and engage students with hands-on learning that prepares them with the thinking skills necessary to be successful in college and careers.
Megan SlackApril 22, 2014
01:30 PM EDT
Today is Earth Day, an important time to reflect on the importance of protecting the future health of our planet in the face of climate change.
But this challenge is bigger than one day of action, and we all have to play a role in forging a healthier, greener and better world for our children-- not just on Earth Day, but every day.
Here are some great tools to help you do your part throughout the year by saving energy and increasing energy efficiency at home and on the road.
How energy efficient is your home?
EPA's Home Energy Yardstick provides a simple assessment of your home's annual energy use compared to similar homes. Answer a few basic questions about your home to see:
- Your home's Home Energy Yardstick score on a scale of 1 to 10
- Insights into how much of your home's energy use is related to heating and cooling versus other everyday uses like appliances, lighting, and hot water
- Links to guidance from ENERGY STAR on how to increase your home's score, improve comfort, and lower utility bills
- An estimate of your home's annual carbon emissions
April 22, 2014
10:30 AM EDT
Forty-five years ago, an oil well being drilled off the coast of Santa Barbara, California blew out. At the time, it was the worst oil spill in U.S. history. Forty-five years ago, too, the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, caught fire—again. Cities from New York to Philadelphia to Los Angeles were regularly blanketed in harmful smog.
One year later, inspired by the bipartisan efforts of Democratic Senator Gaylord Nelson and Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey, 20 million Americans took part in the first Earth Day demonstrations. Across the country, people gathered in the streets, in parks, and on college campuses to call for air, water, and wildlife protections. The strength of Americans’ convictions led to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Endangered Species Act. As a result, our air is safer to breathe, our water is safer to drink, and more of our natural resources are protected for future generations.
Earth Day is as important now as it was then. Our health, our economy, our security, and our planet’s future are once again threatened by pollution and environmental degradation.
Our climate is changing, and that change is being driven by human activity. Every year, the United States pumps millions of tons of carbon dioxide pollution and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Recent reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reinforced that these emissions will have devastating effects on our planet, from higher average global temperatures to sea level rise to more severe weather.
That’s why last year President Obama announced the Climate Action Plan, an ambitious strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to better prepare our communities for the impacts of climate change we can’t avoid, and to lead on the international stage in addressing this global challenge.
Kasie CoccaroApril 21, 2014
06:46 PM EDT
This year’s theme was “Hop into Healthy, Swing into Shape,” which promotes the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative to help kids grow up healthy and have the opportunity to reach their full potential. The day's activities included live music performances, activity centers, cooking stations, storytelling, and, of course, Easter egg rolling.
Cecilia MuñozApril 21, 2014
04:01 PM EDT
One of my most treasured possessions, which hangs in my office in the West Wing of the White House, is a letter from the late Senator Ted Kennedy, sent during the immigration debate of 2007. He sent a lot of them, thanking and encouraging those of us who were fighting for reform after a difficult loss. He had a way of reminding you that the opportunity to fight for something meaningful was a gift, and to take joy in doing work that serves others.
Senator Kennedy was a giant of the Senate who devoted his entire life to serving his country. The very last time I saw him was in the hallway in the West Wing, five years ago today, as he made his way to visit with President Obama who was about to sign the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. National service was one of the great causes of his life, one which truly exemplifies the ideals that he lived every day of his nearly 50 years in the Senate.
The Serve America Act is the most sweeping expansion of national service in a generation. The bipartisan legislation expands AmeriCorps – which celebrates its 20th anniversary later this year – to historic levels and directs it toward tackling national priorities, investing in social innovation, and making it easier for people of all ages to participate in the ongoing process of national renewal. Senator Kennedy reminded us that “we do not have to compel citizens to serve their country. All we have to do is ask – and provide the opportunity."
I’m proud of President Obama’s efforts to advance the role of service in addressing our national challenges – by directing his Cabinet to expand their use of national service; by creating new positions through innovative initiatives such as FEMA Corps and School Turnaround AmeriCorps; and by integrating service as a strategy into other priorities such as expanding economic opportunity through Promise Zones or rebuilding Detroit.
There is more to be done, but the President and all of us here at the White House are proud to honor the five-year anniversary of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and celebrate a hero’s legacy by enabling more Americans to serve.
Kori SchulmanApril 21, 2014
02:55 PM EDT
Three years ago, First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden launched Joining Forces, a national campaign to rally all Americans to recognize, honor, and support our men and women in uniform and their families.
And people around the country are stepping up. From a business owner making a commitment to hire veterans to a neighbor volunteering to a classroom making care packages, people across the country have found ways to show their support for service members and their families in all kinds of ways.
Celebrate the anniversary of Joining Forces with us by sharing a message on social media, and finding ways to get involved.
On Wednesday, April 23, the First Lady and Dr. Biden are heading to Fort Campbell to speak to service members, families, and employers at the Veterans Jobs Summit and Career Forum. Then, the First Lady and Dr. Biden will answer some of your questions about the initiative.
Do you have a question about Joining Forces? Tweet it, Facebook it, or Instagram it and the First Lady might answer this week. You can start asking questions right now using the hashtag #JoiningForces.
April 21, 2014
01:50 PM EDT
Our nation is built upon a legacy of discovery, innovation, and ingenuity – forged over centuries by creative minds, inventors, and thinkers who inspire American citizens, and especially young people, to discover and solve problems in the world around them.
Throughout history, these STEM all-stars have gone to great lengths—including to the heights of Earth’s atmosphere; the depths of our oceans, and into the far reaches of space—in order to unlock new discoveries and expand the frontiers of knowledge. These “extreme” scientists and engineers conduct their work atop mountains and volcanoes, in frigid temperatures, at high speeds, and on the ocean floor – all in pursuit of new insights that will push the boundaries of science and technology.
On Tuesday, April 22 at 4:00 pm ET, the White House will host a new episode of We the Geeks on extreme science. Tune in to this Google+ Hangout to hear from some incredible scientists who are doing research at the edges of the Earth and beyond in pursuit of extreme science!
- Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere; Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and former NASA astronaut
- Lieutenant Don Walsh, Deep Sea Explorer and Oceanographer –was on the first mission to reach and explore the deepest part of the world's ocean
- Forrest Jehlik, Research Engineer at Argonne National Laboratory’s Center for Transportation Research—is testing the limits of engine components and fuels as the head of the Green Racing Program
- Robin E. Bell, Marine Geology and Geophysics Research Professor, Columbia University Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory— studies sub-glacial lakes, ice sheet dynamics and tectonics in Antarctica
- Tom Marshburn, NASA Astronaut and Physician—a NASA mission veteran who has completed space walks and underwater missions as an “aquanaut”
Viewers can join the conversation by asking questions on Twitter using #WeTheGeeks. And you can view the hangout Tuesday at 4:00 pm ET by visiting www.WhiteHouse.gov/WeTheGeeks.
Lindsay HolstApril 19, 2014
05:48 AM EDT
In this week's address, the President offers his warmest greetings as millions of Americans celebrate Easter this Sunday and recounts the Passover Seder he hosted at the White House earlier this week, joining Jewish families around the world in their celebration. The President looks forward to taking part with his family in the hope and joy of the Easter season and reminds all Americans, no matter their faith, of the common thread that binds us.
David HudsonApril 18, 2014
06:38 PM EDT
This afternoon, the President welcomed the U.S. Naval Academy’s football team to the White House to receive the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy once again.
Since 1972, the trophy has been awarded each season to the winner of a triangular series between the Army Black Knights, the Navy Midshipmen, and the Air Force Falcons. Today marked Navy’s ninth time receiving the trophy in the past 11 years.
Talk about a hot streak.
April 18, 2014
06:01 PM EDT
This week, the President observed a moment of silence and announced that 8 million Americans have now signed up for private health insurance through the Marketplace; the Vice President joined the President to cheer on the Soldier Ride, and signed up for Instagram and took his first selfie; and more. Check out what else you may have missed in this week's wrap up.
On Tuesday, the President, along with some of his senior advisers, observed a moment of silence to mark the one-year anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) April 15, 2014
Kasie CoccaroApril 18, 2014
05:00 PM EDT
On Monday, April 21, more than 30,000 guests will hop on down to the South Lawn of the White House for the 136th Easter Egg Roll. To celebrate, we've compiled the 10 most eggcellent Easter Egg Roll GIFs, because that's how we roll.
This year's Easter Egg Roll will include more GIF-able moments and all the fun will be live streamed on WhiteHouse.gov/EasterEggRoll — featuring appearances by Ariana Grande, Jim Carrey, Robert Griffin III, Debby Ryan from the Disney Channel’s JESSIE, and Cookie Monster. Tune in and follow along using the hashtag #EasterEggRoll.
Without further ado, here are the 10 most eggcellent moments from past Easter Egg Rolls — all scrambled up in no particular order.
1. That time Bo wore bunny ears
April 18, 2014
04:59 PM EDT
Earlier this week, while traveling to Oakdale, Pennsylvania to talk about the importance of reforming America's job-training programs, the President was treated to a rock-and-roll surprise.
Local band Comfort Tech transformed their driveway into a stage, and as the President's motorcade drove by, he spotted the musicians and wanted to meet them.
"Secret Service wouldn't let me go down and hear you play, but I figured at least I could say thanks for offering to play," the President told the musicians.
The President and Vice President chatted with the band and took a few pictures, and we got it all on tape.
Kasie CoccaroApril 18, 2014
02:30 PM EDT
This Spring, the White House will once again welcome guests from across the country to the South Lawn to view the White House Kitchen Garden and grounds. This special tour features the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, the Rose Garden, and the South Lawn, including the White House Kitchen Garden, the first vegtable garden at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt’s Victory Garden.
These special tours are open and free to the public on Saturday, April 26 from 10:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. ET and Sunday, April 27 from 10:00 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. ET.
Adam GarberApril 18, 2014
12:00 AM EDT
This week, the President nominated Sylvia Burwell as Secretary of Health and Human Services, hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast and a Passover Seder, discussed immigration reform with Faith leaders, welcomed the Wounded Warrior Soldier Ride, announced a major milestone in the continued implementation of the Affordable Care Act, and hit the road to New York City and Oakdale, Pennsylvania.
April 17, 2014
06:18 PM EDT
President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric K. Shinseki welcome the Wounded Warrior Project's Soldier Ride to the South Lawn of the White House in celebration of the seventh annual Soldier Ride, April 17, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
This morning, on the South Lawn of the White House, President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Shinseki welcomed riders participating in the Wounded Warrior Project’s Soldier Ride.
Today was the fifth time President Obama has welcomed Soldier Ride to the White House. The ride begins in Washington, D.C. and ends in Friendship, Maryland, spanning a total of 58 miles.
Lindsay HolstApril 17, 2014
03:58 PM EDT
Speaking from the White House Briefing Room, President Obama announced that 8 million Americans have signed up for private health coverage thanks to the Affordable Care Act.
He noted that 35 percent of those people are under 35 years old.
What's more, costs associated with expanding coverage under the Affordable Care Act are lower than expected:
Yohannes AbrahamApril 17, 2014
02:59 PM EDT
When President Obama launched the My Brother’s Keeper initiative in February, the response from communities across the country was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. We quickly began hearing stories of creativity, collaboration, and triumphs from community leaders and organizations doing grassroots work to enhance opportunities for boys and young men of color. Some organizations, having done this work for a while, shared what types of programs and coordinated efforts they have seen work through the years, while others have responded to the President’s call to action with new initiatives and commitments of their own.
We heard from a financial services firm in Long Beach, California which has partnered with an 8th grade mentoring program to arrange field trips to their office. Students fill out applications, interview with managers, and go through mock hiring processes. They are then connected with mentors, and offered serious rewards (like laptops) when they reach GPA goals set by the company.
Dan UtechApril 17, 2014
09:40 AM EDT
Since President Obama took office, we have made significant advances in clean energy. Last year alone was record-breaking for new installations, and the amount of solar power installed in the United States has increased around eleven fold. Just this past week, the U.S. Army announced plans to start development on a historic solar array at Fort Huachuca in Arizona – the biggest Defense Department solar array on a military installation to date, and HUD is increasing solar on multifamily housing.
And for good reason. Solar is a smart investment. The average cost of solar panels has dropped by more than 60%, and the cost for a solar photovoltaic electric system has declined by about 50%. The numbers tell an important story: There has never been a time when solar is more affordable and more available to so many Americans. Solar is not just a prospect; it’s a reality.