Obama Puts the “Change” in “Climate Change”

Screen grab from whitehouse.gov. Some rights reserved.

Screen grab from whitehouse.gov. Some rights reserved.

Under swollen, D.C. summer skies, President Obama delivered his much-anticipated speech on climate change yesterday, unveiling an aggressive plan to combat rising temperatures by cutting greenhouse gas emissions in key industries, shoring up U.S. coastlines, promoting “homegrown energy,” and working with allies the world over to create a definitive international climate strategy.

This speech marks, according to major news outlets, the first time that a President has set a legislative course of action to deal with climate change (this fact is at once alarming and completely unsurprising to me). The changes promised within have been long anticipated and were even promised as a key component of Obama’s second term by the man himself. The methodology behind the changes is scattered – his plan for lowering emissions involves overseeing an EPA effort to regulate GHG output from power plants, and also proposing new energy efficiency standards for all U.S. buildings and appliances. Predictably, the plan also includes large investments and loans for solar and wind energy projects as well as carbon capture projects and hi-tech green energy technology.

As is to be expected, however, there has already been a large backlash from conservatives, claiming Obama’s plan is “authoritarian,” and that it circumvents Congress entirely in a way that is “undemocratic.” The National Republican Senatorial Committee apparently sent out statements in advance of Obama’s speech claiming the plan would “destroy jobs, raise energy costs, and hurt working families.” But that’s been the go-to Republican line on the climate change agenda in the past, so their continued stubbornness comes as no surprise. And yet there does still seem to be a legitimate last leg for these deniers to stand on politically, so its hard to imagine (even with more and more right-wingers caving on the issue of global warming) this being a huge issue in next year’s Senate race.

Watch the speech here and read along here.

One response to this post.

  1. […] speech last week, we assumed it was headline material. After all, as I said in last week’s post, the speech marked “the first time that a President has set a legislative course of action to […]


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