President Obama’s new (or renewed) tough talk on climate change is not a harbinger of new climate legislation. Republicans opposed to cap-and-trade, EPA regulation of greenhouse gases (GHGs), and carbon taxes still control the House.
However, there is no reason to suppose Mr. Obama was merely tossing a sop to climate activists. As a second termer, the President is freer to indulge his ‘progressive’ impulses. ‘Legislating’ climate policy via administrative action has been the Obama Team’s preferred M.O. More of the same is likely in the second go-round. Here are a few possibilities:
*The State Department could veto the Keystone XL pipeline — a key objective of the global warming movement.
*The EPA could issue GHG performance standards for existing (as distinct from new or modified) coal power plants, as well as standards for other industrial categories (refineries, cement production facilities, steel mills, paper mills, etc.).
*The EPA could determine (along the lines of Cornell University research) that fugitive methane emissions make fracked natural gas as carbon-intensive as coal. The agency could then modify the carbon ‘pollution’ rule to require utilities that build new natural gas generation to install carbon capture and storage technology or meet a renewable portfolio standard.
Read more at National Journal. By Marlo Lewis.
Photo credit: TexasGOPVote.com (Creative Commons)