Campaign Promises

Cabinet/Departments -> Interior -> Natural Resources


ItemInterior
Natural ResourcesGrade
IN-9
The Promise: "Will support federal policies to encourage voluntary water banks, wastewater treatment, and other market-based conservation measures to address the water shortage in western states."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Promoting a Healthy Environment" dated 10/08/08.
Source: https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/edg/media/Obama_Cap_and_Trade_0512.pdf
Status:The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) signed into law on 02/17/09 included $1B for the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Reclamation for "Water and Related Resources". Not less than $126M of this amount was earmarked for water reclamation and reuse projects.

On 09/25/09, for example, Secretary of the Interior Salazar announced the award of a $21.4M contract utilizing ARRA funds for a water conservation project in Sunnyside, WA. The Water Conservation Initiative Challenge Grants also funneled funds to the western states to optimize water conservation efforts.

In CY2015 alone, the Obama Administration made $300M available to western states in new drought aid to provide relief for farmers, displaced workers and rural communities that ran out of drinking water.

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
IN-10
The Promise: "Will support increased funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) , which supports land acquisition and maintenance of parks."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Promoting a Healthy Environment" dated 10/08/08.
Source: https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/edg/media/Obama_Cap_and_Trade_0512.pdf
Status:The Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965 mandates "congressional appropriations...to make the income of the Fund not less than $900,000,000 for each fiscal year until the Fund's expiration date, September 30, 2015." Only in FY1998 and FY2001 did the fund receive appropriations meeting that threshold.

On 09/08/09, Congressman Nick Rahall (D-WV) introduced the "Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2009" (H.R. 3534) and would have required full funding of the LWCF for FY2011 and succeeding fiscal years. This bill passed the House on 07/30/10, but never passed the Senate. It expired at the end of CY2010 with the 111th Congress.

The "Land and Water Conservation and Funding Act of 2009" was introduced by Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) on 11/06/09 as S-2747. The bill did not get beyond the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and it too expired when the 111th Congress adjourned at the end of CY2010. Senator Bingaman reintroduced this bill before the 112th Congress on 06/23/11 (S. 1265) but it did not gain any passage momentum and expired with the 112th Congress.

Shared between the Departments of Interior and Agriculture, the LWCF's budget for FY2010 to FY2014 was as follows:
FY2010....$450.4M
FY2011....$300.5M
FY2012....$322.3M
FY2013....$303.3M
FY2014....$306.0M

Starting in FY2015, President Obama requested the full/mandated amount of $900.0M. In light of fiscal constraint realities, Congress limited LWCF funding as follows:
FY2015....$306.1M (1/3 of requested amount)
FY2016....$450.0M (1/2 of requested amount)
FY2017....$900.0M (Requested)

The promise was to "support increased funding."

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
IN-11
The Promise: "...will lead efforts to acquire and conserve new parks and public lands, focusing on ecosystems such as the Great Plains and Eastern forests which do not yet have the protection they deserve."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: "Promoting a Healthy Environment" dated 10/08/08.
Source: https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/edg/media/Obama_Cap_and_Trade_0512.pdf
Status:The President's budget proposal for FY2010 stated in part: "...there are many landscapes and ecosystems that do not have adequate protection. One way to protect these landscapes is to increase funding through the LWCF to acquire and conserve new parks and public lands...".

In CY2010 alone, the Department of the Interior's (DOI's) Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) stewardship protection was extended to 34,367 additional acres and 133 additional park sites.

During his two terms in office, President Obama is credited with creating and/or enlarging 29 national parks or national monuments totaling, by some accounts, over 550M acres of land and water from Hawaii to Maine and points in between.

This promise was fulfilled.
1.00
IN-12
The Promise: "...will advance legislation that works with landowners and follows in the tradition of the Wilderness Act, the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act to focus federal attention and increased resources for this key environmental issue."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Promoting a Healthy Environment" dated 10/08/08.
Source: https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/edg/media/Obama_Cap_and_Trade_0512.pdf
Status:On 03/08/12, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced a new $33M partnership with farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to use innovative approaches to restore and protect habitats for wildlife,

The Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Department of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service jointly manage the new Working Lands for Wildlife (WLFW) program. This program provides technical and financial assistance for landowners who voluntarily choose to implement specific conservation practices for a particular species while continuing to manage the property as working lands. Those species include the bog turtle, golden-winged warbler, gopher tortoise, greater sage-grouse, lesser prairie-chicken, New England cottontail and southwestern willow flycatcher.

During President Obama's two terms in office, WLFW participants helped restore 6.7M acres of habitat for targeted species

Nonetheless, President Obama is not known to have advanced any new legislation that would further encourage private landowners to pursue conservation initiatives beyond those that already existed under such programs as the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), the Wetland Reserve Program (WRP), the Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program, and others. No legislation was needed to create the WLFW, despite President Obama's campaign promise.

This promise was not fulfilled.
0.00
IN-13
The Promise: "...will push for the passage of the Great Lakes Collaboration Implementation Act, which will move us past playing defense against environmental problems and toward a comprehensive restoration of the Great Lakes."
When/Where: Obama-Biden Plan: Promoting a Healthy Environment" dated 10/08/08.
Source: https://energy.gov/sites/prod/files/edg/media/Obama_Cap_and_Trade_0512.pdf
Status:The Great Lakes Collaboration Implementation Act (aka the National Invasive Species Council Act or National Invasive Species Act) was first introduced during the 109th Congress (S. 2545) in CY2006.

After repeated failures during the Bush Administration, it was reintroduced during the Obama Administration, notably during the 111th Congress in CY2009 (S. 237/H.R. 500) and repeatedly all the way through the 114th Congress (CY2015-CY2016) when it acquired a new name, the "Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Act of 2016" (S. 1024/H.R. 223).

Also during the 114th Congress were related bills such as the "Great Lakes Water Protection Act" (H.R. 2809) and the "Great Lakes Ecological and Economic Protection Act" (S. 504), all of which failed to pass Congress and secure bill enactment.

This promise was not fulfilled.
0.00