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Past and Present: Celebrating July 4th at the White House

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 4, 2015 | 4:11 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

"It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."

—John Adams, 1776

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Past and Present: Celebrating July 4th at the White House

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 4, 2015 | 4:11 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

"It ought to be solemnized with Pomp and Parade, with Shews, Games, Sports, Guns, Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other from this Time forward forever more."

—John Adams, 1776

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WEEKLY ADDRESS: Have a Safe and Happy Fourth of July

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 4, 2015 | 6:00 am - Original Item - Comments (View)
President Barack Obama tapes his weekly address following remarks on the economy at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse, Wisconsin, July 2, 2015.

President Barack Obama tapes his weekly address following remarks on the economy at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse, Wisconsin, July 2, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

WASHINGTON, DC — In this week's address, the President wished everyone a happy Fourth of July.  He honored the individuals who, throughout the history of America, have struggled and sacrificed to make this country a better place, from our Founding Fathers, to the men and women in uniform serving at home and overseas.  The President asked that on this most American of holidays we remember the words of our founders, when they declared our independence and that all are created equal, and that we continue to protect that creed and make sure it applies to every single American.  And finally, he wished good luck to the U.S. Women’s National Team competing in the World Cup Final this weekend.

The audio of the address and video of the address will be available online at www.whitehouse.govat 6:00 a.m. ET, July 4, 2015.

Transcript | mp4 | mp3

Our 3 Favorite Moments from the President's Speech in Wisconsin

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 3, 2015 | 5:15 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

Today, the President spoke at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse, reflecting on the great strides America has made in the past six years in economic reform. With over 64 months of private sector job growth and the lowest uninsured rate ever, the United States had made great progress in helping middle class families, but our work isn't done.

Here are our top three moments from the speech:

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Our 3 Favorite Moments from the President's Speech in Wisconsin

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 3, 2015 | 5:15 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

Today, the President spoke at the University of Wisconsin in La Crosse, reflecting on the great strides America has made in the past six years in economic reform. With over 64 months of private sector job growth and the lowest uninsured rate ever, the United States had made great progress in helping middle class families, but our work isn't done.

Here are our top three moments from the speech:

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West Wing Week: 07/03/15 or, "Amazing Grace"

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 2, 2015 | 8:07 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

This week, the President signed a bipartisan trade deal, welcomed the President of Brazil to the White House--and showed her one of our national treasures--hosted 50 girls in green on the South Lawn for a campout to celebrate the great outdoors, answered questions about healthcare in Tennessee and online, and traveled to Wisconsin to announce new overtime protections for hard-working Americans. That's June 26th to July 2nd or, "Amazing Grace."

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The Affordable Care Act: Here to Stay

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Video (2) on July 2, 2015 | 5:19 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)
On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court upheld a critical part of the Affordable Care Act, historic health care reform that the President signed into law in 2010. Now, millions of Americans who got covered in health insurance marketplaces can stay covered, no matter where they live.

This Day in History: President Lyndon B. Johnson Signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post on July 2, 2015 | 3:29 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

"My fellow citizens, we have come now to a time of testing. We must not fail. Let us close the springs of racial poison. Let us pray for wise and understanding hearts. Let us lay aside irrelevant differences and make our nation whole."

— President Lyndon B. Johnson, upon signing the Civil Rights Act

On June 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, which was the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction. The Act prohibited discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin, in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal.

Congress expanded the act in subsequent years, passing additional legislation in order to move toward more equality for African-Americans, including the Voting Rights Act of 1965. 

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Estimating the Benefits from Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reductions

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Press Release (Office of Management and Budget) on July 2, 2015 | 2:00 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

By now, just about everyone accepts that carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels are warming our planet and changing our climate in harmful ways.  With growing frequency we see headlines about extreme weather events such as heat waves, polar melting, severe drought, and violent storms—a dangerous mix whose costs for our economy and environment will only grow over time.  Transitioning to a lower carbon economy is an essential step toward reducing these costs. The social cost of carbon (SCC) is a tool that helps Federal agencies decide which carbon-reducing regulatory approaches make the most sense—to know which come at too great a cost and which are a good deal for society. The SCC is a range of estimates, in dollars, of the long-term damage done by one ton of carbon emissions. 

The effort to incorporate the SCC into regulatory impact analysis started during the Bush Administration.  At that time, each Federal agency developed its own estimate of the SCC using a variety of methodologies. In 2009, the Obama Administration established a working group of technical experts from across the government to develop a single set of estimates, based on the best available science and economics, to be used by all agencies in their emissions reducing regulations. In February 2010, after considering public comments on interim values that agencies had been using, the working group released harmonized and improved SCC estimates, along with a Technical Support Document (TSD) that explained how the SCC estimates were derived. Recognizing that the underlying models would evolve and improve over time as scientific and economic understanding increased, the Administration committed to periodic updates of the 2010 estimates. 

In November 2013, OMB published a request for comment on a set of updated SCC estimates and the methodology used to develop them, to supplement the comments already routinely received when agencies use the SCC in particular rulemakings.  In response, we received about 150 substantive comments, some quite lengthy and technical, as well as about 39,000 form letters that expressed support for our efforts to establish a harmonized SCC.

Today, we are following up on that public comment process and announcing next steps for further refining the social cost of carbon:

  • First, we are publishing a detailed summary and formal response to the many thoughtful comments we received.
     
  • Second, we are issuing some minor technical revisions to the SCC, and publishing a revised TSD that explains those changes. The resulting central SCC estimate for a ton of CO2 emitted in 2015 is $36.
     
  • Third, to ensure that the next SCC update keeps up with the latest available science and economics, we will seek independent expert advice on opportunities to improve the estimates, including many of the approaches suggested by commenters and summarized in the Response to Comments document. Specifically, we are asking the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide advice on the pros and cons of potential approaches to future updates. Input from the Academies, informed by on-going public comment and the peer-reviewed literature, will help to ensure that the SCC estimates used by the federal government continue to reflect the best available science and economics. Federal agencies will continue to use the current SCC estimates in regulatory impact analysis until further updates can be made to reflect the forthcoming guidance from the Academies.

The SCC will become increasingly important if we are to protect our economy, environment, and quality of life for current and future generations from the mounting costs of climate change. The Administration is committed to ensuring consistency across Federal agencies in how they value the carbon emission reductions that will result from their rules.  We will continue to keep these estimates informed by the most up-to-date science and economics so that agencies can appropriately account for the social cost of carbon emissions in evaluating the costs and benefits of their regulations.

 

Howard Shelanski is the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Maurice Obstfeld is a Member of the Council of Economic Advisers.

Estimating the Benefits from Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reductions

Barack Obama's White House Presidential Office (D) posted a Blog Post (Office of Management and Budget) on July 2, 2015 | 2:00 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)
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