Friday, November 14, 2014

Obama Flexes His Muscles As Powerless Republicans Can’t Stop Climate Change Deal

Republicans in Congress are throwing a fit over President Obama’s climate change deal with China, but there is nothing that they can do to stop the agreement.

The president announced the deal at a joint press conference in Beijing,

Today, I can also announce that the United States has set a new goal of reducing our net greenhouse gas emissions by 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2025. This is an ambitious goal, but it is an achievable goal. It will double the pace at which we’re reducing carbon pollution in the United States. It puts us on a path to achieving the deep emissions reductions by advanced economies that the scientific community says is necessary to prevent the most catastrophic effects of climate change. It will help improve public health. It will grow our economy. It will create jobs. It will strengthen our energy security, and it will put both of our nations on the path to a low-carbon economy.
This is a major milestone in the U.S.-China relationship, and it shows what’s possible when we work together on an urgent global challenge. In addition, by making this announcement today, together, we hope to encourage all major economies to be ambitious — all countries, developing and developed — to work across some of the old divides so we can conclude a strong global climate agreement next year.
Republicans reacted by treating the agreement like it was the end of the world.

  Speaker of the House John Boehner said, “This announcement is yet another sign that the president intends to double down on his job-crushing policies no matter how devastating the impact for America’s heartland and the country as a whole. And it is the latest example of the president’s crusade against affordable, reliable energy that is already hurting jobs and squeezing middle-class families. Republicans have consistently passed legislation to rein in the EPA and stop these harmful policies from taking effect, and we will continue to make this a priority in the new Congress.”
The grumbling has been everywhere on the right, but behind the bellowing is a simple fact.
Republicans are powerless to stop the president from taking action on climate change. Politico discussed the reality that Republicans are facing, “The kicker for Republicans eager to stomp all over the president’s agenda: Congress has little immediate recourse, despite McConnell’s pledges to use “the spending process” to rein in EPA. With so much action rolling through the pipeline, Republicans will have to choose their battles carefully if they want to make headway while proving they can govern.”
The good news for Democrats is that President Obama is in legacy building mode, and his already strong presidential legacy will be boosted by action of climate change. Thanks to the Clean Air Act, President Obama doesn’t need congressional approval for his actions on climate change. (Since the agreement with China isn’t a treaty, it also doesn’t require Senate approval.)
Republicans are going to scream and yell, moan and groan, and stomp and scream, but in terms of practical action there is little that they can do. The party of big oil and the Koch brothers can only stand on the sidelines and watch as President Obama makes history by dealing with the issue of climate change.

No comments:

Post a Comment