In a little noticed vote last week, Senators acting on behalf of the coal, utility, and auto industries have dealt a serious blow to serious progress on climate change. It’s time for President Obama to use his executive power through the Environmental Protection Agency and take action on global warming.Here’s what happened: Republicans were joined by 26 Democrats in the Senate in a vote on a rule to ensure that the filibuster will be used to block meaningful climate legislation. Any truly effective bill will surely suffer death by filibuster because there are more than 40 Senators committed to deferring any real action on climate change that would threaten the coal, oil, and auto industries.
This betrayal by Democrats on one of the most important issues of our time is deeply disappointing. However, President Obama doesn’t need Congress’ help to take a very important step: Regulating carbon.
During the Bush administration, EPA administrators rejected scientists’ findings on the dangers of carbon. But on March 20, the Obama Administration’s EPA finally submitted a long-awaited “endangerment finding” to the White House. Now with this finding, President Obama can order the EPA to reduce carbon emissions, including those from coal burning utilities.
With the Senate dragging its feet on progress, the time for President Obama to act is now.
Thank you for working to build a better world.
Kate Stayman-London, Campaign Manager
Senate Climate Change April 4, 2009