Robert Redford Wants Obama to Bypass Congress on Coal

Actor Robert Redford, the same man who made a film lionizing domestic terrorists earlier this year, has weighed in as an environmental activist, bloviating that he hopes President Barack Obama has the “courage” to unilaterally force coal-powered power plants to reduce their carbon emissions, bypassing Congress.

Redford made a video for the Natural Resources Defense Council in which he said:

Record setting heat and drought, rising sea levels and severe weather events like Hurricane Sandy: climate change is happening, fast. We’ve got to stop making the problem worse and that means reducing carbon pollution from its biggest source, coal-fired power plants.  It’s harming our environment and our communities. Even so, Congress has refused to take steps that would protect us from climate change. The good news is that President Obama has pledged to act and he has the power to do it.

And just how should Obama force his will on the people, according to the Golden Septuagenarian?

Through the Environmental Protection Agency the president can require dirty coal plants to cut carbon pollution. Replacing dirty fuels with clean power and energy efficiency is going to create jobs, boost the economy and save us money.  But most important of all, it will protect our climate. I just hope the president has the courage of his convictions.

Turning populist, Redford added, “Please, urge the president to make dirty power plants clean up their carbon pollution. We owe that to future generations.”

The EPA has already planned new emission standards that would limit new power plants to restrict their carbon emission to 1,000 pounds-per-megawatt-hour. The standards have been delayed, but once imposed, will force 280 coal-fired generating units to shut down.

Events are living up to Obama’s 2008 hopes, when he said he would use a cap-and-trade system so that the coal industry "would have to meet the rigors of that market and the ratcheted-down caps that are being placed, imposed every year. So, if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted."


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