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Inauguration events welcome a greener leader

green-inaugurationFans of the environment and cleantech have special reason to cheer today, as Barack Obama is sworn in as US president and successor to oilman George W. Bush.

Unlike Bush, Obama has emphasized the need for dramatic and immediate action to help reduce carbon dioxide emissions and curb global warming. He’s also recently unveiled an economic stimulus package that includes billions for renewable energy research and development, cleantech research and green jobs.

In fact, today’s inauguration ceremony culminates a buildup that’s been noticeably greener than anything DC has seen in some time. Some noteworthy highlights:

  • Obama could become just the third US president to give attention to the environment during his inaugural address, notes Red Green and Blue writer Timothy B. Hurst. The only others to merit that distinction: Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton.
  • Two small-scale wind turbines will be visible from the National Mall during today’s ceremonies. The turbines are on display as part of a US Botanic Garden exhibit titled, “One Planet — Ours! Sustainability for the 22nd Century.”
  • On the other side of the continent, Plug In America celebrated the coming inauguration this past weekend by holding a parade of electric vehicles through Santa Monica, California.
  • Discovery Channel’s Planet Green held a Green Inaugural Ball in DC this past Saturday with the theme, “Maximum Celebration, Minimal Impact.”
  • Other features of today’s inaugural celebration will include valet parking for bicycle riders, organic food and compostable or biodegradable flatware and plates for House of Representatives events.

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