Tags: Climate Change | Obama | GOP | climate change

Obama's Climate Agenda Faces Icy Reception From GOP Majority

By    |   Tuesday, 18 November 2014 04:03 PM

President Obama’s controversial emissions reduction deal with China is highlights one of his top priorities for his final two years in the White House: pushing for action on climate change, the Associated Press reported.

During his 2012 re-election campaign, Obama told his top aides that he considered the issue a matter of unfinished business, deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter said.

“He sees climate policy as good economic and health policy, but also a moral obligation to future generations,” she added.

Politically speaking, it is difficult to imagine a less auspicious time for Obama to be making such a push.

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made opposition to Obama’s “War on Coal” (a reference to what the Kentucky lawmaker and many of his fellow Senate Republicans consider onerous regulations that destroy jobs) a centerpiece of his re-election campaign, and the GOP’s decisive victory in midterm elections will make it essentially impossible for the president to win congressional approval for much of  his climate-change agenda.

Indeed, a growing number of Democrats are distancing themselves from Obama and orthodox environmentalists on issues such as the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from Canada to the Texas Gulf Coast. Last week, the House voted 252-161 to approve the project, with 31 Democrats crossing the aisle to vote with Republicans. And in the Democrat-controlled Senate (which scheduled a vote on the pipeline Tuesday night), supporters of the project said they had 59 votes for Keystone – just one short of the number needed to halt a filibuster against it.

President Obama has not said whether he would veto legislation authorizing the project, but his spokesman said he takes a “dim view” of congressional efforts to win approval for it.

Unable to get his proposals enacted into law, Obama has forged ahead with what is in essence a two-part plan for advancing his environmental agenda: vetoing or threatening to veto congressional efforts to loosen  environmental regulations, and implementing his own agenda through executive orders and other forms of administrative action.

The president said his administration had arrived at a way to slash emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025 using what he calls existing legal authority, rather than relying on future action by Congress. And he has instructed his Cabinet secretaries to look for additional actions the administration can take during his final two years in office.

On Monday, the AP reported, the White House launched a new website aimed at assisting state and local officials’ efforts to implement climate-change policies of their own.

But it seems clear that Obama faces steep odds against winning congressional support for his agenda in the 114th Congress.

Sen. Jim Inhofe the Oklahoma Republican slated to head the Environmental and Public Works Committee, was sharply critical of  another presidential idea – Obama’s pledge of $3 billion for a “global climate fund.”

“President Obama’s pledge to give unelected bureaucrats at the UN $3 billion for climate change initiatives is an unfortunate decision to not listen to voters in this most recent election cycle,” Inhofe told The Hill.

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President Obama’s controversial emissions reduction deal with China is highlights one of his top priorities for his final two years in the White House: pushing for action on climate change, the Associated Press reported.
Obama, GOP, climate change
511
2014-03-18
Tuesday, 18 November 2014 04:03 PM
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