President Obama faces new pressure to produce results on climate change after he announced in his inaugural address that he would make the issue a top priority for his second term. But staunch Republican opposition to sweeping environmental laws will force the president to go through his Environmental Protection Agency, rather than Congress, to implement the changes he promised, officials on both sides of the debate said.
Obama has vowed to reduce greenhouse gases and to slow warming temperatures, saying a failure to do so “would betray our children and future generations.”
And while environmentalists applauded the president’s pledge, they are encouraging him to use his executive powers rather than Congress on issues like stricter limits on carbon emissions. The EPA last year recommended limited carbon emissions from new power plants, but advocates now want Obama to expand that rule to include existing power plants, as well.
“He’s basically giving marching orders to whoever he puts in charge at the EPA,” Frank O’Donnell, president of the nonpartisan Clean Air Watch, said of the president’s new tone. “Legislation is pretty unlikely, given the makeup of Congress. Setting forth emissions standards for existing coal-burning power plants — that’s the mother of all climate rules.”
The president is looking for a new leader at the EPA after Lisa Jackson announced that she would step down following Obama’s State of the Union address in February.
Read more at The Washington Examiner. By Brian Hughes.