Update: An Obama spokeswoman seemed to suggest Monday that the president-elect's advisers got ahead of him Sunday, and that he had made no decisions yet about specific executive orders to reverse.
President-elect Barack Obama will enter the oval office for the first time today, when he visits President Bush in the White House.
He and his advisers have begun to tell the public exactly what he'll do once he sits down there.
Of course, the economy is the first priority, so Obama will -- according to his new chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, try to pass a stimulus package that includes public works projects and extended unemployment benefits, extend help to American automakers, and reinstate taxes on wealthy Americans so that those making less than $250,000 can get a break.
But all of those will require Congress. When Obama sits down in the Oval Office, he'll be able to -- with a swipe of a pen -- sign executive orders that will immediately reverse some Bush Administration policies.
Among his first priorities, according to Emanuel, is undoing a Bush directive that opens tens of thousands of acres in Utah near Arches National Park, Dinosaur National Monument and Canyonlands National Park to oil and gas drilling.
Obama will have plenty of environmental directives to undo. While all eyes have been on the campaign, Bush has been quietly been signing executive orders and his agencies have been re-writing rules that together could have a big effect on environmental and consumer protection.
Still unknown is to what degree renewable energy and energy conservation will be part of the economic stimulus Obama proposes. He's consistently discussed investing in a smart electricity grid, renewable energy and energy conservation in terms of their job-creating potential, but some analysts expect more traditional road- and school-building type public works would offer a quicker boost to the economy.
There's still an expectation that energy policy will be at the least a No. 2 priority, after the economy, even if substantive energy initiatives aren't incorporated into Obama's economic stimulus. Meanwhile, many are encouraging Obama to go whole hog on major policies, having been granted a mandate for change by an electorate whose excitement for new presidents typically wanes over time.
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