Obama’s Environmental Record And The Conservative Response

Dave Johnson

According to the Washington Post, President Obama “skinned the cat” and used executive powers “to press the most sweeping attack on air pollution in U.S. history.” Oil- and coal-backed conservatives can’t stand it.

Washington Post, Obama’s record: Environmental agenda pushes sweeping attack on air pollution

The day after the November 2010 elections made clear President Obama’s greenhouse-gas legislation was doomed, he vowed to keep trying to curb emissions linked to global warming. There’s more than one way of “skinning the cat,” he told reporters.

Since then, Obama has used his executive powers … to press the most sweeping attack on air pollution in U.S. history. He has imposed the first carbon-dioxide limits on new power plants, tightened fuel-efficiency rules as part of the auto bailout and steered billions of federal dollars to clean-energy projects. He also has proposed slashing mercury emissions from utilities by 91 percent by 2016.

Using the authority of the Clean Air Act the administration issued a numner of rules that regulated how much companies could pollute. They also upped the fuel efficiency standards to an average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

The Oil-And-Coal Company Conservative Response

The Republican lobbying organization National Association of Manufacturers, ignoring the effect the natural gas boom is having on old coal plants, complained that the Obama administration is fighting climate,

“The utility sector, which we consider a part of the manufacturing sector, has been hit extremely hard,” said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of energy and resources at the National Association of Manufacturers.

Utilities, he said, are shuttering older plants and holding off expanding existing ones out of fear that the EPA will deny them permits.

Last month the oil and coal lobby Republican House passed that No More Competing With Oil Companies Act No More Solyndras Act, and then the Stop the War on Coal Act.

The Hill explains, in House approves ‘Stop the War on Coal’ bill in last act before November election,

Among other things, it would block the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and other sources, and prevent rules on the storage and disposal of coal ash and limit Clean Water Act rules.

It would also prevent potential Interior Department rules to toughen environmental controls on mountaintop removal coal mining, and thwart other air emissions rules, including air toxics standards for coal-fired power plants.

Meanwhile, the coal industry is running negative ads with doctored audio that make it sound as if Obama is saying exactly the opposite of something he said years ago as a Senator. From Yet More Doctored Audio In Anti-Obama Ads,

The American Energy Alliance is running an ad with doctored audio. They took audio from a statement in which Obama supported coal (as long as it is cleaned up) and doctored it to sound like he wants to put the industry out of business. This matters because they are running it in swing-state areas where people’s jobs depend on the industry.

Click through for details.

So again, with the coming election we can choose between a cleaner environment and fighting climate change, or the old oil- and coal-company agenda to heat the planet. See Romney’s Energy Plan To Heat The Planet for details.

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