Toward a Sustainable Future: An Environmental Agenda for the Second Term of the Obama Administration

Author(s): 
David M. Uhlmann
Publication Date: 
January 24, 2013

ACS is pleased to distribute “Toward a Sustainable Future: An Environmental Agenda for the Second Term of the Obama Administration,” an Issue Brief by David M. Uhlmann, Jeffrey F. Liss Professor from Practice and Director of the Environmental Law and Policy Program at the University of Michigan Law School. 

In this Issue Brief, Uhlmann asserts that the President and his administration should seek support from Congress and continue to use existing laws to chart a path toward a sustainable future for the United States and the world.  Uhlmann stresses that the administration should make climate change a center-piece of the second term agenda and, “as he did in his Second Inaugural Address, the President should reframe the climate change imperative with an emphasis on our obligations to future generations.”

Uhlmann also explains that American communities will thrive if the administration pursues policies that promote economic growth and environmental protection, instead of viewing them as competing objectives.  “We can meet our obligations to future generations if we treat our planet, not as an infinite resource, but as a precious habitat that sustains life,” Uhlmann writes.  He concludes, “a sustainable future will depend upon the President’s willingness to take his case directly to the American people and to make climate change, energy policy, and environmental protection top priorities in his second term.”


“Toward a More Perfect Union: A Progressive Blueprint for the Second Term” is a series of ACS Issue Briefs offering ideas and proposals that we hope the administration will consider in its second term to advance a vision consistent with the progressive themes President Obama raised in his second Inaugural Address. The series should also be useful for those in and outside the ACS network – to help inform and spark discussion and debate on an array of pressing public policy concerns. The series covers a wide range of issue areas, including immigration reform, campaign finance, climate change, criminal justice reform, and judicial nominations.To view the series, click here.