Sunday is Earth Day, and in the spirit of celebrating the Earth's natural environment, four national environmental groups--Sierra Club, Environment America, League of Conservation Voters, and Clean Water Action--jointly announced endorsements of President Obama on Thursday. The executive directors and CEOs of these four groups praised the president as "the clear choice to protect clean air, clean water, and the health of American families."
The quadruple endorsement is probably one of the least surprising developments of the campaign so far, as the environmentalist's choice between President Obama and presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney is no contest.
While President Obama's record with environmental groups has not been perfect, he has had his share of green success. He put a temporary stop on plans to build the Keystone XL pipeline, ordered a moratorium on offshore deepwater oil drilling following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, and has invested in green technology and nuclear power. He has achieved historic increases in fuel economy standards for automobiles as well, and he has set aggressive goals to keep standards growing higher in years to come.
Romney's campaign dismissed Thursday's endorsement, saying, "It is no surprise that liberal environmental groups support President Obama's agenda of shutting down energy sources, driving up energy prices, and shoveling billions of taxpayer dollars to their favorite green projects."
Romney has focused on the economy, not the environment, during his campaign. Nobody is quite sure exactly where he stands on global warming, as he has said on different occasions that he believes mankind is contributing to the phenomenon and that he is unsure if people have an effect on rising temperatures. His stances in other environmental areas, like drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, are clearer, as he believes that America's natural resources should be exploited, to the chagrin of environmental groups. He supports hydraulic fracturing to access natural gas trapped in shale gas deposits, and he has argued for removing carbon from the list of pollutants in the Clean Air Act.
Despite the lack of competition in this round of endorsements, the Obama campaign still welcomed the environmental groups' support and the combined 4 million people they represent.