White House Prepares to Push Climate Change Legislation

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), advocates for the environmental lobby, met with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough last week so they could coordinate efforts with the Obama administration in pushing their environmentalist agenda. 

The two men believe that the GOP-controlled House will stand in the way of their efforts, and they want the White House to act unilaterally and push forward on issues such as signing more international agreements, implementing emissions standards for existing coal-fired power plants, and strengthening energy efficiency efforts.

Sen. Whitehouse said:

We’re continuing to keep an open dialogue. I think it’s very important for the executive branch and the legislative branch to be working together on this and not have one set of White House strategies and one set of Democratic Senate and House strategies . . . This issue is going to define this presidency. I think what he said and where he is will force him — will impel him — to take action before long.

Although Barack Obama has promised to follow through, environmental activist don’t trust him; they assert that there is evidence that he will support the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. They also point to how he has not enacted emissions rules for current power plants.

Obama would hardly have a scientific leg to stand on if he blocked Keystone; his own State Department acknowledged in March that the pipeline would not significantly increase oil sands production or greenhouse gas emissions. Environmental activist are ignoring that report, pushing Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry to block the pipeline.


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