The White House Blog: The President

  • What the Clean Power Plan Means For America

     

    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


  • Weekly Address: Celebrating Fifty Years of Medicare and Medicaid

    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


  • More than 4.67 Million Records Released

    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.


  • Our 4 Favorite (Gif) Moments from this Week's Episode of West Wing Week: 07/31/15 or, "Jambo Kenya"

    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.

     


  • Celebrating 50 Years of Medicare and Medicaid

    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.


  • A Look Back at We the People Petitions: 2011 to Today

    “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


  • President Obama Travels to Kenya and Ethiopia

    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.


  • Weekly Address: Wall Street Reform is Working

    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


  • Behind the Lens: Photographing the President in 50 Countries

    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)



  • West Wing Week: 07/24/15 or, "A New Direction"

    This week, the President visited Steel City and The Big Apple, celebrated the anniversary of the ADA and the signing of AGOA, and hosted a newly minted head of state -- all while a U.S. delegation led by Dr. Biden traveled through Asia.