After a midterm election that saw the House of Representatives shift from Democratic to Republican control, it's become abundantly clear that comprehensive climate legislation is going to be incredibly difficult if not impossible to pass. That's all the more evident when you consider that two dozen members of Congress who voted for the Waxman-Markley climate legislation a short while back lost their seats. And, according to Think Progress, of the over 100 new Republican congressmen and women voted into office, 50 percent deny the existence of manmade climate change, and 86 percent are opposed to any climate change legislation that increases government revenue.
Understanding this, President Obama has conceded the cap-and-trade route for controlling greenhouse gases and acknowledged the unlikeliness of passing an energy bill anytime soon. He also made statements calling for further development of the countries natural gas reserves and a possible revival of nuclear energy. Obama is between a rock and a hard place. He understands the necessity of climate legislation, a new energy bill, and a national discourse on climate change, but faces nearly insurmountable odds in Congress.
In his post-election speech Obama said, "One of the things that's very important for me is not to have us ignore the science, but rather to find ways that we can solve [climate] problems that don't hurt the economy, that encourage the development of clean energy in this country, that in fact may give us opportunities to create entire new industries and create jobs...that put us in a competitive posture around the world."
Perhaps he should ask California for some advice?
(via Los Angeles Times)
Photo: President Obama during a press conference last Wednesday during which he addressed Republican gains in Congress. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)