44th president of the United States and the first African-American president turns 54 today. Obama became known for his economic stimulus legislation and healthcare reform.
He spent 4 years in Jakarta as a child where he learned to speak Indonesian and was introduced to dog meat, snake meat, and roasted grasshopper. He later taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago from 1992 until 2004. He served three terms in the 13th District of the Illinois Senate from 1997 until 2004. He ran for the United States House of Representatives in 2000, but was defeated.
Happy birthday, Mr. President.
Meanwhile, if you live, work or breathe in the United States, Obama’s new national Clean Power Plan is good news for you. Unfortunately, you would never know that — if you listened to all the big polluters all crying and whining about it.
The clean power plan is a smart approach — because it is both powerful and flexible. It requires that U.S. power plants reduce their emissions 32% below 2005 levels by 2030. But each state gets to decide how best to do that. They can invest in renewables like solar and wind, switch to natural gas, or simply upgrade coal plants to produce more electricity with lower emissions.
This is smart federal policy-making. President Obama is setting a clear goal, but he is leaving it to the laboratories of democracy to decide how best to get there.