Bush VS Obama, Part 5: Employment, Energy and Environment

by Sean A. LangleyGuest Contributor

First, we look at this graph which is
found at this website:

That website is the official website for the United States Department of Labor and is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics section. That means it’s non-negotiable as to it’s accuracy because it’s from the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. And if you didn’t know, the federal government largely answers to Congress and the President.

George W. Bush was President from Jan. of 2001 to Jan. 2009 and Barrack Obama was President from later in Jan. 2009 to current time. There’s no question that unemployment sky-rocketed in Bush’s final year. However, in Obama’s first month of his first year, he signed into effect the AARA.

The ARRA was designed to respond to the Great Recession, the primary objective for ARRA was to save and create jobs almost immediately. Literally hundreds of billions of dollars were invested into that. Unemployment skyrocketed even further, despite the fact that AARA did create more jobs. However, creating jobs and actual jobs employed is not the same and if jobs are unattainable by the majority or unable to support the majority, they won’t get filled. Random job creation does not equate solid employment improvement.

There was a flux with Bush, but for the majority of his Presidency, he maintained unemployment at a low rate of under 6% until the last year (minus a short rise ‘03). In Barack Obama’s Presidency, he has only just recently managed to have it under 6% in the last half of ‘14, even after hundreds of billions into his act. It was actually higher and maintained higher than Bush’s highest point of unemployment for the majority of Obama’s first entire term as President.

Like it or not, blame it on what you want, Bush wins HEAVILY in the unemployment level as President.


As part of the AARA mentioned above in Employment, President Obama invested $27.2 billion in clean energy technologies, from transportation to personal use. He originally intended to invest in nuclear energy, but after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan that destroyed a lot of homes (and nuclear power plants), Congress had doubts about that.

The amount of electricity generated from wind and solar power has now increased 157 percent since the year before Obama took office, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Wind and solar still account for only a small fraction of all electricity, but the share has more than doubled.

Wind and solar power increased 282 percent during Bush’s last four years in office, so the upward trend does predate Obama’s term. But the subsidies provided in Obama’s 2009 stimulus package helped keep the trend going (otherwise, he was just “riding the high from the good ol’ Bush years”).

When it comes to gas used per mile, according to the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute, the average EPA city/highway sticker mileage of light duty vehicles sold in March was 24.6 miles per gallon. That’s a record. And it’s 17 percent better than the 21.0 mpg for vehicles sold in January 2009, when Obama first took office.

Bush wasn’t without benefit in the energy department, but when it comes to clean energy and usage of gasoline per mile has gone up under Obama’s AARA.

Like it or not, Obama beats Bush in the Energy department.


In May 2001, Bush signed an executive order to create an inter-agency task force to streamline energy projects, and later signed two other executive orders to tackle environmental issues. These were critical in focusing the government on more efforts on actual environmental change.

Unfortunately, to be blunt, while it opened the door, Bush never really stepped into it very much. He believed in Global Warming but was not convinced it was man-made, legitimate argument as science today still hasn’t been able to prove if it’s more due to technological issues or naturally occuring. However, Bush never did anything to reduce carbon emissions or anything to really help with global warming.

Bush tried to put into effect the the Clear Skies Act of 2003, aimed at amending the Clean Air Act to reduce air pollution through the use of emissions trading programs but many experts said that it would do more harm than any good, thus forth it was shot down by Congress.

Bush also opposed the Kyoto Protocol, an amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which seeks to impose mandatory targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, citing that the treaty exempted 80 percent of the world’s population and would have cost tens of billions of dollars per year. The Senate had voted 95–0 in 1997 on a resolution expressing its disapproval of the protocol.

So it’s not that Bush didn’t do anything, only that he didn’t do very much in the Environment area.

President Obama has been extensively concerned with the issue of Global Warming and has largely kept an opinion of it being mostly due to man-made devices, hence his focus on cleaner energy. His vast improvements in clean energy helped out considerably but controversy arose with the Keystone Pipeline issue. Obama originally rejected it, saying that it would cause an increase in carbon pollution or greenhouse gases.

His rejection was factual, thus the US Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs described changes to the original proposals including the shortening of the pipeline to lessen any impact. However, the EPA and other individuals did point out the increased possibility for massive oil spillsthat could harm habitats and environments.

In the end, Obama remained against it. He also called against drilling Antartica for petroleum, not wanting to damange the environment there, also hoping to increase the chances of more clean energy sources being used.

Like it or not, Obama actually beats Bush in the Environment area.

In summation, Part 6: The Score

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