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Obama to Congress on Climate Control: “Act Now or I Will”

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President Barack Obama Addresses Climate Change During 2013 State of the Union Speech
President Barack Obama Addresses Climate Change During 2013 State of the Union Speech

Now that Barack Obama has been elected to his second-term as President of the United States, he doesn’t have to play quite so nicely with the other branches to make changes to policies relating to climate control.

Granted, his health care bill hasn’t been particularly popular, but he did manage to get the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] and Department of Transportation [DOT] to take some major steps toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the automobile sector. Of course, this is just a small part of the whole puzzle.

One of the problems, though, is that Congress isn’t particularly fond of climate change regulations, because change is expensive, and who gets to pay for change but the very people backing the members of Congress? In any case, President Obama has dispensed with the carrot in favor of the stick, saying in his State of the Union Address:

Now the good news is, we can make meaningful progress on [climate change] while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to get together, pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change… But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.” 

A couple years ago, Obama managed to succeed in a couple of areas to take action on climate change, but couldn’t pursue them with much fervor, especially if he hoped to get reelected for a second term. Now, though, it’s a whole new attitude and a more aggressive stance on renewable energy, cleaner energy, and eliminating waste energy. Clearly, we have a long way to go in this respect, and we’ll do well to exert ourselves now before it is too late to take action. Obama’s statements on climate control are a promising move in the right direction.

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