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  • Today, as part of the President’s plan to cut carbon pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized the first-ever national limits on carbon pollution from existing power plants, the single-largest source of carbon pollution in the United States. The Clean Power Plan is an historic step in the fight against climate change. It sets flexible and achievable standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, while creating tens of thousands of jobs.

    But just because this common-sense proposal will have huge benefits for hard-working Americans across the country, doesn’t mean some people won’t spread misinformation and launch false attacks. There will be critics of what we’re trying to do, and cynics who say it can’t be done.  Long before the details of this plan were even decided, the special interests and their allies in Congress were already mobilizing to oppose it with everything they’ve got. In fact, we are likely to see the same tired arguments naysayers raised last year — and in 1990, when the United States tackled acid rain; and in the 1970s, when the Clean Air Act was passed.

    Before we get into the details, we want to remind everyone, throughout our history, when America has taken steps to cut pollution and protect public health, opponents have made dire predictions about destroying jobs and harming the economy — and throughout our history they've been wrong.

    This time will be no different. As the polluting interests and their allies come up with new and creative myths, we’ll dispel them on Twitter at @Rohan44.  


    Myth: Carbon pollution standards will destroy jobs and hurt the economy.

    Fact: Americans know we can cut pollution and protect the health of our kids while creating jobs.

    Over the years, this has been the polluters' favorite myth. When Republican President Richard Nixon signed the Clean Air Act to combat smog, he talked about the promise of tackling pollution and our responsibility to future generations.  Polluting interests and their allies said new pollution standards would decimate the auto industry. That was false. In 1990, when Republican President George H.W. Bush took steps to stop acid rain, polluting interests and their allies claimed the lights would go out and businesses around the country would suffer. That was false.

    EPA has been protecting air quality for more than 40 years, and in that time we've cut pollution by 70 percent while the economy has more than tripled.

    So Americans know we don't have to choose between cutting carbon pollution to protect the health of our kids and creating jobs.

    In fact – they go hand in hand. Cutting carbon pollution from power plants will spark innovation and drive investment in clean energy technologies and energy efficiency that will create jobs and save families money. It will also result in significant health benefits, which will yield medical savings.

    EPA’s detailed economic analysis shows that this proposal will create tens of thousands of jobs all over the country. And they aren’t the only ones. Two independent studies show even larger job gains of around 300,000 jobs when the Clean Power Plan is fully implemented. And if we look at carbon reduction programs that are already in place, we find that from 2014-2016, the Regional Green House Gas Initiative trading program, is expected to create 14,000 new jobs across nine states.   

  •  

    BREAKING: On Monday, President Obama will release the final version of America's Clean Power Plan—the biggest, most...

    Posted by The White House on Saturday, August 1, 2015

     

    On Monday, August 3, President Obama is announcing the finalization of America's Clean Power Plan, the biggest step we've ever taken to combat climate change. This plan sets the first-ever carbon pollution standards for power plants, while providing states and utilities with the flexibility they need to meet those standards.

    Watch the President's remarks:

     

    Here's why this matters:

    Existing power plants are the largest single source of carbon pollution in the United States.

     

    The CPP adds carbon pollution to a list of emissions targeted for reduction, which already includes harmful pollutants like arsenic, mercury, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and soot. 

    870 million metric tons

    Carbon pollution cut by the Clean Power Plan 

     

    The economic benefits of the CPP far outweigh the costs. 

    $8.4 billion

    Estimated cost of the Clean Power Plan

    $54 billion

    Estimated worth of the public health and climate benefits of the Clean Power Plan

     $85

    Approximate annual energy bill savings per household

    $155 billion

    Consumer savings from 2020-2030

     

    The CPP invests more in renewable energy that ever before, creating tens of thousands of American jobs along the way.

    30%

    Increase in renewable energy generation by 2030

    28%

    Energy capacity from renewable sources by 2030

     

    Cutting carbon emissions from power plants also has some major public health benefits. 

    3,600

    Fewer premature deaths

    90,000

    Fewer asthma attacks in children

    1,700

    Fewer heart attacks

     1,700

    Fewer hospital admissions

    300,000

    Fewer missed school and work days 

     

    The CPP even sets new reduction targets for the pollutants that contribute to the soot and smog that make people sick.

    318,000 tons

    Reduction in sulfur dioxide

    282,000 tons

    Reduction in nitrogen dioxide

     

    The importance of reducing carbon emissions is already apparent to many state governments who have taken action on their own. Under the CPP, states will have the flexibility to continue creating their own unique programs to meet their Carbon Dioxide Emission Performance Rate targets. 

    50

    Number of state with utilities that run demand-side energy efficiency programs

    37

    Number of states with renewable portfolio standards or goals

    10

    Number of states with market-based greenhouse gas emissions programs

    25

    Number of states with energy efficiency standards or goals

     

    The Clean Power Plan is a landmark action to protect public health, reduce energy bills for households and businesses, create American jobs, and bring clean power to communities across the country.


    Find out how the Clean Power Plan will impact your state:

     

    Alabama                      Arizona                      Arkansas

    California                     Colorado                   Connecticut

    Delaware                     Florida                       Georgia

    Idaho                           Illinois                         Indiana

    Iowa                            Kansas                       Kentucky

    Louisiana                    Maine                         Maryland

    Massachusetts           Michigan                     Minnesota

    Mississippi                  Missouri                      Montana

    Nebraska                    Nevada                      New Hampshire

    New Jersey                 New Mexico               New York

    North Carolina             North Dakota              Ohio

    Oklahoma                    Oregon                      Pennsylvania

    Rhode Island               South Carolina          South Dakota

    Tennessee                  Texas                        Utah

    Virginia                        Washington               West Virginia

    Wisconsin                    Wyoming

  • President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 23, 2015.

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 23, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon).

    In this week's address, the President celebrated the 50th birthdays of Medicare and Medicaid, which together have allowed millions to live longer and better lives. These programs are a promise that if we work hard, and play by the rules, we'll be rewarded with a basic measure of dignity, security, and the freedom to live our lives as we want. Every American deserves the sense of safety and security that comes with health insurance. That's why the President signed the Affordable Care Act, and that's why he will continue to work to ensure that Medicare and Medicaid, programs that are fundamental to our way of life, stay strong.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3

  • In September 2009, the President announced that — for the first time in history — White House visitor records would be made available to the public on an ongoing basis. Today, the White House releases visitor records that were generated in April 2015. This release brings the total number of records made public by this White House to more than 4.67 million — all of which can be viewed in our Disclosures section.

  • Here's something not enough people know about: Every week, a team of White House videographers puts together a short episode encapsulating what the President did that week -- who he met with, where he traveled, and all sort of other fun moments in between.

    This week's episode covers the President's trip to Kenya and Ethiopia -- where he attended the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and met with leaders across government, business, and civil society -- and it's stocked with some pretty breathtaking images. Here are four of our favorites, complete with timestamps — but you should really want the full thing for yourself.

    Happy watching! Come back next week for a new episode.

    00:06 When the President disembarked from Marine One -- and Kenyatta University said hello.

     

  • What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Carol is one of them. Read more of their stories here.


    "Last December I was diagnosed with leukemia. Thank G-d, I am in remission now."


    A lifelong musician, Carol lost her insurance upon retirement. But she was able to sign up for Medicare at age 65.

  • President Harry Truman fought for years to pass a bill to provide low-cost health care for elderly Americans. Yet, it took almost two decades for his ideas to come to fruition: On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Social Security Amendments into law, establishing Medicare and Medicaid. He honored President Truman at the ceremony by enrolling Harry Truman, at age 81, and his wife Bess Truman as the first Medicare beneficiaries.


    “No longer will older Americans be denied the healing miracle of modern medicine. No longer will illness crush and destroy the savings that they have so carefully put away over a lifetime so that they might enjoy dignity in their later years. No longer will young families see their own incomes, and their own hopes, eaten away simply because they are carrying out their deep moral obligations to their parents, and to their uncles, and their aunts.”

    —President Lyndon B. Johnson, July 30, 1965


    In the first six months, more than 2.5 million Americans benefitted from Medicare-covered hospital care. Fifty years later, 55.2 million Americans are enrolled in Medicare.

  • Real GDP rose faster in the second quarter than in the first, even after a large upward revision to first-quarter growth. Strong personal consumption led the rebound as consumers spent more of the windfall gains from lower oil prices that they had saved in the first quarter, and many of the temporary factors that restrained growth in the first quarter faded. The President is committed to pushing Congress to increase investments in infrastructure as part of a long-term transportation reauthorization, to open our exports to new markets with new high-standards free trade agreements, and to ensure that fiscal brinksmanship or the sequester does not return in the next fiscal year as outlined in the President’s FY2016 Budget

    FIVE KEY POINTS IN TODAY’S REPORT FROM THE BUREAU OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS

    1. Real gross domestic product (GDP) rose 2.3 percent at an annual rate in the second quarter according to the BEA’s advance estimate, while first-quarter GDP growth was revised up from a 0.2 percent decline to a 0.6 percent increase. The revision to first-quarter GDP growth is mostly accounted for by higher fixed investment growth than previously estimated, in both the business and residential sectors. In the second quarter, the rise in GDP growth was led by a faster pace of personal consumption growth than the first quarter and a shift from negative to positive net export growth. The drag from declining structures investment was also much less negative for overall growth in the second quarter than in the first. Incorporating the effects of the annual GDP revision released today (see point 2), real GDP has now risen 2.3 percent over the past four quarters.

  • What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Joanne is one of them. Read more of their stories here.


    "My life was saved by early detection, thanks to annual wellness checks that included a
    heart ultrasound."


  • What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Timothy is one of them. Read more of their stories here.


    "[The Affordable Care Act] literally saved my life."


    Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Timothy S. from Saint Paul, Minnesota was forced to drop his health insurance because it was too expensive -- and "essentially worthless."


  • Technology has given us incredible new tools to communicate with friends, family, and colleagues, and all Americans should enjoy these benefits — including, and especially, those with disabilities.


    For those with hearing or speech impairments, digital video and other tools have helped these communities stay connected and working, rather than isolated. So, as the White House celebrates the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we’re announcing some new steps to help the government stay accessible to all Americans using the latest technology. 

    We are pleased to announce that two agencies that routinely interface with the disabilities community — the U.S. Census Bureau and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — will soon be taking up direct video calling technology to allow Deaf citizens to communicate directly with American Sign Language (ASL)-fluent call operators there. This work responds to the President’s 2011 executive order calling upon agencies to use technology to improve customer service, and is another step in the right direction.

  • President Barack Obama signs S. 517, Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act

    President Barack Obama signs S. 517, Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act, in the Oval Office, Aug. 1, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    The Right to Petition is a Constitutional Right

    In its final clause, the First Amendment of the Constitution protects the right of the American people “to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” It’s right up there along religion, speech, press, and assembly.

    Yet while it guarantees the right to petition, the First Amendment doesn’t explain how to petition or what the government owes in response. Over the years, many people have petitioned the government by sending written letters to the White House and Congress, asking for assistance and expressing grievances on a variety of issues. For example, in 1897, Native Hawaiians who petitioned Congress were successful in temporarily blocking the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands. And in 1874, suffragette Susan B. Anthony petitioned Congress to remit a fine imposed on her after she was arrested for casting a vote in the 1872 election in Rochester, New York.

  • What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Susan is one of them. Read more of their stories here.


    "Everyone should be free to study their passions and pursue goals, chronic illness or not."


    Susan F. from Grover Beach, California, wrote the President last November to tell him how she's benefited from the Affordable Care Act.

  • “My administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government.”

    — President Barack Obama


    Since we launched We the People in 2011, millions of Americans have engaged with their government on the issues that matter to them. This groundbreaking online platform has made petitioning the government, a First Amendment right, more accessible than ever. Over the past few years, the Obama administration has taken a stance on a number of causes that citizens really care about and used the We the People petition platform to voice their concerns. Check out We the People -- where you can create or sign petitions -- here

    Today, the White House released responses to 20 outstanding We the People petitions. We're recommitting to the platform in a big way, integrating with Change.org to reach even more Americans and guaranteeing that you'll hear from us within 60 days after the petition you signed has gathered the required signatures.

    As we gear up for this new phase, take a look back at responses from the last four years.

    1. The President Records a Special Message for a Petition on Reducing Gun Violence

  • Haben Girma, a deafblind lawyer, introduced the President at a White House reception last week to mark the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    This afternoon, she sent the following message to the White House email list, in which she shares her personal story and explains how the ADA is helping Americans with disabilities continue to tear down barriers.

    Didn't get the email? Sign up for email updates here.


    I recently had the honor of introducing President Obama at a White House reception commemorating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    The President shared a moving story of how, in the years before Congress passed the ADA, his father-in-law -- who had multiple sclerosis -- would sometimes hold himself back because he didn't want his disability to inconvenience others. With that story, President Obama reminded Americans that "We've got to tear down barriers externally, but we also have to tear down barriers internally."

    As someone who has struggled against attitudinal barriers, I loved hearing our President encourage the world to view access for people with disabilities as a civil and human right.

  • What has health reform meant to this country? That's a question that millions of Americans answer every day. Christopher is one of them. Read more of their stories here.


    "I am writing to thank you, I believe, for my life."


    Last September, Christopher C. from Batesville, Arkansas was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.

    Before the Affordable Care Act, Christopher, who worked for a small business, had no health insurance coverage. Fortunately, because of the protections provided by the ACA, he was able to obtain insurance that kept him out of financial ruin. Since the beginning of 2015, he has been on Medicaid, which has provided him quality coverage as he continued his treatment.

  • President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Safaricom Indoor Arena in Nairobi, Kenya, July 26, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

    This week President Obama is traveling in Kenya and Ethiopia to attend the 2015 Global Entrepreneurship Summit and to meet with leaders from government, business, and civil society. The trip is reinforcing the U.S. commitment to expanding economic growth and trade, strengthening democracy on a global scale, and investing in the next generation of African leaders.

    Follow along for highlights from the President's trip.

  • President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 23, 2015.

    President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, July 23, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Amanda Lucidon).

    In this week's address, the President spoke to the progress we have made in making our financial system stronger, safer, and more fair in the years since financial crisis. Five years ago this week our country enacted the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, rules that have substantially reduced recklessness and abuse in our financial system that predated the crisis.  As a result of Wall Street reform, our banks are less reliant on unstable funding and less likely to engage in risky behavior, the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau works to protect American consumers, and our financial system is significantly better-regulated.  Dodd-Frank is working, and the President emphasized that he will continue to fight any challenges to the law and veto any effort to unravel the new rules governing Wall Street.

    Transcript | mp4 | mp3

  • Watch on YouTube

    Yesterday, the First Lady welcomed 140 college-bound students to the White House for the Reach Higher "Beating the Odds" Summit.

    These young people represented a wide range of communities -- urban, rural, foster, homeless, immigrant, special needs, and more. All of them have overcome great odds to go to college, and many are even first in their family to pursue further education after high school.

  • Today, President Obama visits Kenya — the 50th country he has visited during his Administration. It’s also my 50th country traveling with the President.

    To mark the occasion, as I did when the President visited his 50th state, I chose one photograph from each country that we’ve visited.

    Traveling abroad with the President is very different.

    Often times, I am at the mercy of the host country for access. Some countries are more accommodating to me than others. I am lucky to have counterpart official photographers in many countries who are extremely helpful to me in this regard. I of course try to return the help to them when they visit the White House with their head of state.

    We’re also rarely in any one country for more than a couple of days, which gives us only a partial glimpse of each place. And because of security, the sites we are able to visit are often limited too.

    All that said, we’ve had the incredible opportunity to visit the Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in the United Kingdom, the Great Wall in China, Petra in Jordan, and the Shwedagon Pagoda in Myanmar (Burma). (So I really shouldn’t complain too much.)

    I hope you enjoy this gallery. And stay tuned — we’ll be adding a photograph from Kenya and additionally, Ethiopia, following his visit next week.


    Afghanistan, 2012

    Boarding Air Force One at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, May 1, 2012. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


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