The bar for an official U.S. carbon target has now been raised as President Obama announced today that the U.S. federal government, one of the largest greenhouse has emitters in the world, is committing to a 28 percent reduction in CO2 emissions by 2020 (below 2005 levels), a pledge which is well above the 17 percent pledged yesterday in the addendum of the Copenhagen Accord.

The current U.S. pledge represents less than a 4 percent reduction over 1990 levels. If the federal government pledge were to be used as a guidepost for nationwide emission reductions (according to my very rough calculation) Obama's pledge would come out to about a 16.5 percent reduction below 1990 levels. While not the 20 percent that most NGO's want, Obama's pledge nevertheless has become the first strong, executive directive that one hopes will guide the Boxer-Kerry bill in the Senate.

To support the signing of the Boxer-Kerry bill, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has just launched a new campaign called This is Our Moment.

In his State of the Union address Wednesday, Obama made it clear that he has finally found a way to explain the importance of clean energy legislation to the American people — China is beating us in the battle for new jobs and while China spends $9 billion a day to secure its position as clean energy leader, our elected officials are bickering over pennies.

Today, Obama made it clear that he is going to help drive the ship to some degree by giving a directive far above what has previously been discussed re: Boxer-Kerry. That's very good news, and from my brief discussion with a representative from NRDC, the environmental advocacy group is fully behind him.

Now it's time to get the damn bill passed. So I encourage you to check out the campaign site and send a letter to your senators telling them what you think.

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