By Ben Geman - 04/22/12 08:37 PM EDT
President Obama is urging green-minded voters to work on behalf of his reelection with a video pitch that calls the next few months crucial to continued progress on environmental protection.
His reelection campaign used Earth Day to announce the re-launch of “Environmentalists for Obama,” a mobilization effort that was also part of the 2008 campaign.
“None of this progress came easy,” Obama says in the video. “And what we do over the next few months will decide whether we have the chance to make even more progress.”
It urges viewers to “take a second” to visit the Environmentalists for Obama website and “ask a friend to do the same.”
The website is an organizing and fundraising tool that enables visitors to sign up to volunteer for the campaign and learn about campaign events; collects email addresses and touts Obama’s record; and sells stuff.
(The Environmentalists for Obama merchandise includes a $30 t-shirt made from organic cotton, and bumper stickers that allow you to “make a statement” and are “perfect for a bicycle or hybrid.”)
A Pew Research Center poll earlier in April month showed Obama with a massive 39 percent advantage over Mitt Romney among voters who prioritize environmental issues.
The president’s reelection campaign may nonetheless be challenged replicate the mobilization of enthusiastic environmentalists that occurred in 2008.
Environmentalists have cheered many White House policies, such as tougher auto mileage standards; first-ever climate change rules; regulations to cut smog-forming and toxic emissions from coal-fired power plants; and renewable energy programs in the big 2009 stimulus law.
But Obama's first term has also seen its share of tensions with activists. The White House has made some decisions that green groups say are bad for the environment.
The White House, overriding EPA, last year scuttled tougher ozone standards, Obama’s Interior Department is moving ever closer to allowing Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in fragile Arctic waters off Alaska’s coast, and the administration supports expanded natural-gas development enabled through hydraulic fracturing (although it’s seeking to boost safeguards, too).
Four major green groups last week officially endorsed Obama.