1:14 PM, Jul 1, 2013 • By DANIEL HALPER
Today is Susan Rice's first day on the job as National Security Advisor. And already her portfolio has been expanded.
President Obama signed today an executive order on "Combating Wildlife Trafficking." The directive reads, "By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, and in order to address the significant effects of wildlife trafficking on the national interests of the United States, I hereby order as follows:"
Section 1. Policy. The poaching of protected species and the illegal trade in wildlife and their derivative parts and products (together known as "wildlife trafficking") represent an international crisis that continues to escalate. Poaching operations have expanded beyond small-scale, opportunistic actions to coordinated slaughter commissioned by armed and organized criminal syndicates. The survival of protected wildlife species such as elephants, rhinos, great apes, tigers, sharks, tuna, and turtles has beneficial economic, social, and environmental impacts that are important to all nations. Wildlife trafficking reduces those benefits while generating billions of dollars in illicit revenues each year, contributing to the illegal economy, fueling instability, and undermining security. Also, the prevention of trafficking of live animals helps us control the spread of emerging infectious diseases. For these reasons, it is in the national interest of the United States to combat wildlife trafficking.
It goes on, and toward the end, this line is included, "There is established a Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking (Task Force), to be co-chaired by the Secretary of State, Secretary of the Interior, and the Attorney General (Co-Chairs), or their designees, who shall report to the President through the National Security Advisor."
The entire executive order can be found here.
UPDATE: A friend on the government writes in:
I think the blog post on the wildlife EO is probably a bit off the mark. Some terrorist groups in Africa are known to get financing from the sale of African animals, and mostly the tusks of elephants and rhinos. It's a trend that is only increasing. It's a awful collusion of African-based criminals/terrorists/corrupt governments and our friends the Chinese to bring about the whole-sale slaughter of some of the world's most majestic creatures, and fund their terror exploits or undermine governments in the process. I'm happy to see American leadership here -- and hope we do something more than set up a task force. Also, it would make little sense for the task force to report to the President through anyone other than the National Security Advisor -- this is an international problem with true national security implications, even if we don't always see it. I know we want to watch Rice like a hawk, but I don't think this is a place to attack.
If we stop the poaching, we stick it to both African extremists and the Chinese. Seems like a good policy to me.
His administration was greener than you think. Jun 17, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 38 • By ELI LEHRER
Mention Ronald Reagan to an avowed environmentalist, and you’ll generally elicit a groan. In the conventional telling, the Gipper appointed right-wing extremists to key environmental positions and proceeded to give timber companies and energy interests a free hand to despoil nature. Had Congress not stopped him, the tale goes, all of the environmental progress of the 1970s would have been swept away in the 1980s.
Good news on natural gas is bad news for a Democratic party full of environmental true-believers Apr 29, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 31 • By ROBERT H. NELSON
Much has been said recently about the deep tensions within the Republican party. Far less has been said about a sharp division arising inside the Democratic party.
11:05 AM, Dec 28, 2012 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
It’s symbolically appropriate that one of President Obama’s preferred forms of “green energy” crony capitalism has the effect of killing off the national bird.
11:56 AM, Dec 1, 2012 • By DANIEL HALPER
A top adviser to President Barack Obama, Valerie Jarrett, was heckled at a speech yesterday to grassroots organizers by a "climate activist."
3:16 PM, Nov 27, 2012 • By GEOFFREY NORMAN
The world's greatest deliberative body (just ask any of its members) got hung up over what is called a "Sportsmen's Bill." The impasse came on the first day after the Thanksgiving holiday, which is, traditionally, a time when hunters like to be in the deer woods and duck marshes, which the bill supposedly would have expanded and made more accessible. This is one of those bills that is said to "enjoy wide, bipartisan support."
Obama deserts coal; Democrats desert Obama.Sep 24, 2012, Vol. 18, No. 02 • By HENRY PAYNE
Charleston, W. Va.
The billboard high over I-64 outside the capital of this blue-collar state minces no words: “Obama’s NO JOBS ZONE: The President talks about creating jobs but his EPA is destroying jobs.”
Businessmen across nearly every American industry cite the Obama administration’s regulatory assault—from Obamacare to bank lending restrictions to fuel-economy mandates—as a cause of America’s jobless recovery. But perhaps no industry can count job losses the White House is causing like the coal industry.
1:31 PM, Nov 28, 2011 • By JEFFREY H. ANDERSON
The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes, “Here’s one good way to consider the vote in 2012: It’s about whether to re-elect President Lisa Jackson, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, which these days runs most the U.S. economy.” The Journal observes that the Obama EPA has now decreed that “America’s fleet of passenger cars and light trucks will have to meet an average of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, a doubling of today’s average of about 27 mpg.”
3:08 PM, Sep 23, 2011 • By DANIEL HALPER
The Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon kicked off today in Washington on the National Mall, under inauspiciously dark rainy skies.
Sep 26, 2011, Vol. 17, No. 02 • By MATTHEW CONTINETTI
To find a metaphor for the failed Obama presidency, look no further than Solyndra. Before it went bankrupt, the solar panel manufacturer was more than the recipient of a $535 million loan guarantee from the federal government. It was the model for the White House effort to put the American economy on a “new foundation.”
11:41 AM, Jun 23, 2011 • By ADAM J. WHITE
This week, climate change activists suffered a major loss at the Supreme Court, which unanimously threw out their highly publicized lawsuit against power companies. Although—or perhaps because—the Court's opinion was clear and direct, the losing activists have sought desperately to spin a loss into a win. And the press's lackluster coverage of the decision only has helped obfuscate the Court's decision.
Environmentalists block coal exports to China.9:00 AM, May 20, 2011 • By ETHAN EPSTEIN
Longview, Washington—When an Australian shipping company named Millennium Bulk Terminals announced plans last November to open a coal export terminal in this port city of 36,000, few predicted any trouble. Millennium quickly bought the site on which the terminal would be located, a property on the banks of the Columbia River that was once the home of an aluminum smelting plant.
From the Scrapbook.May 16, 2011, Vol. 16, No. 33 • By THE SCRAPBOOK
In the midst of the Osama bin Laden news last week occurred one of those quiet cultural transitions that catch The Scrapbook’s attention. We are speaking of the death, in Stamford, Connecticut, of 91-year-old Hubert J. Schlafly Jr.
Environmentalist students gather to change the system.12:34 PM, Apr 29, 2011 • By MICHAEL WARREN
The way Alyssa Kent described the work of her school’s environmental group, Campus Greens, was almost quaint. “We’re building a garden, and we’re going to supply the lettuce that we grow to the school cafeteria,” said Kent, a junior at Wells College in Aurora, New York. “And we’re about to start a clean up. It’s just, like, a garbage pick-up.”