Global environmental challenges
Obama says greenhouse gases are hurting us — now what?
The Obama administration’s move to declare climate-warming carbon pollution a danger to human health was quickly hailed by environmental groups and leading liberals as a long-overdue shift from the Bush era and a historic first step toward regulating greenhouse gas emissions.
In making the announcement, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson said that solving the problem would not only clean up the air but also “create millions of green jobs and end our country’s dependence on foreign oil.”
She says the way to do it is for Congress to pass comprehensive climate change legislation while at the same time averting a “regulatory thicket” that unduly burdens governments and businesses.
But announcing that greenhouse gases are bad and getting the likes of the Natural Resources Defense Council and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to agree with you is the easy part.
Manufacturers and industry groups, concerned that they will end up shouldering the cost of cleaning up the atmosphere, were wary.
And, speaking of thickets, it will be no easy task getting such monumental policy change as a renewable portfolio standard for utilities, a cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax through Congress during an economic recession.
So, what do you think? Do you agree with the EPA? Can Obama get it done during a recession? Should he? What do you expect him to do first? And if you had his ear, what would be tops on your wish list?
Top photo: Reuters/ Lucy Nicholson (the Los Angeles skyline)
Bottom photo: Reuters/ Fred Prouser (a downtown Los Angeles freeway)