The billionaire Koch brothers and other mega-donors are expected to spend hundreds of millions of dollars this year to shape the midterm outcome, and Republicans enjoy a healthy majority of the super-rich. The Koch-backed Americans for Prosperity has already spent millions targeting vulnerable Democrats. Compounding some Democrats frustration, Obama has also been raising money for Organizing for America, his former campaign apparatus that now functions as something of a shadow DNC. When you create your own DNC with OFA, theres a reason the actual DNC is in debt, said one party operative. Theres probably nothing that Obama could do in these midterm elections to match the conservative billionaires advantage.
White House officials said Obama does not plan to introduce a faster timeline for the administrations long-awaited decision on the Keystone pipeline when he sits down with Harper, a vocal proponent of the project. Last month, the State Department ruled that the pipeline, which would deliver crude oil from Alberta to the United States, would not significantly affect global greenhouse gas emissions. The report appeared to clear the largest remaining barrier to a project long opposed by environmentalists, but the Obama loan forgiveness act White House has said that Secretary of State John F. Kerry is continuing to review additional factors before making a recommendation. Supporters of the project have said it would create thousands of jobs. Joshua Meltzer, a Brookings Institution fellow on global economics and development, said the State Departments finding that the Keystone oil sands are likely to be developed regardless of whether the pipeline is built will probably give Harper another opening to pressure Obama.
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Development of new truck fuel standards is another sign of Obama’s increasing efforts to address climate change and convince Americans of the urgent need to take action. By ordering federal agencies to develop new standards, Obama is able to act on his own and sidestep Congress, which remains divided about what to do about a warming planet. Obama said in California’s drought zone on Friday that a warming planet is intensifying the severity of droughts and other weather events. “Unless and until we do more to combat carbon pollution that causes climate change, this trend is going to get worse,” he said. Obama will also renew his appeal for Congress to end $4 billion a year in subsidies to the oil and gas industry and urge lawmakers to establish a $2 billion “energy security trust” to support development of advanced vehicles that run on electricity, homegrown biofuels, hydrogen, and domestically produced natural gas.
government has nearly quadrupled, increasing by $8,847,994,000,000. However, despite the massive increase in the government’s marketable debt during Bush’s eight years, Obama managed to accumulate more additional marketable debt in his first five years in office than all the presidents who preceded combined. The marketable debt of the U.S. government includes all debt securities sold by the U.S. Treasury that can be held by individuals, corporations or other entities outside the U.S.
Apparently there are exceptions to the Obama administration’s pledge to eliminate official White House movie screenings. our editor recommends Berlin: How George Clooney Faked Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’ for ‘Monuments Men’ Officials announced Monday that the president would host the cast and crew of George Clooney’s Monuments Men in the East Wing theater Tuesday evening. Maybe it’s because President Obama is friends with Clooney, who co-hosted a $15 million fundraiser for the president’s reelection campaign. Or perhaps it’s because Clooney’s film is not in the running for an Oscar. PHOTOS: ‘Monuments Men’ Premiere: George Clooney, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett Take Manhattan The film is the first official movie screening since the White House declared a moratorium in November, saying the president was becoming a pawn in the Oscar race.
During a visit to a grocery store distribution center, President Obama will order the Environmental Protection Agency and Transportation Department to develop and issue the new standards by March 2016, according to a White House official who would not be named when discussing the announcement ahead of the event. The new fuel efficiency requirements will mark the second phase of the effort to reduce the harmful pollutants by targeting trucks. In 2011, the Obama administration completed fuel standards for medium and heavy vehicles. Those regulations call for a 20% reduction in heavy-vehicle emissions by 2018 and applied only to truck models 2014 through 2018. Experts estimate car manufactures would need to boost fuel efficiency to an average of 8 miles per gallon to reach the new standards, up from 6 miles per gallon at the time of the announcement. The next round of regulations, which the president already announced in his Climate Action Plan last summer, will set standard for models beyond 2018, as well as semi-trailers.
Bush but expired in 2007. Meanwhile, some European allies are pushing back, still peeved over disclosures of National Security Agency surveillance of them. Obama had hoped an agreement could be reached on the trans-Pacific talks before he visited Japan and other Asian nations in April. The Pacific talks are further along than the Atlantic ones. But the trans-Pacific talks have been complicated by disputes over environmental issues and resistance in some Asian countries to a wholesale lowering of trade barriers.