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President Obama no doubt forced frowns and winces and narrowed eyes from many elected Republicans when he briefly mentioned climate change in his State of the Union address: "But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact." We know how they feel about that. Or at least how they pretend to feel so their contributors don't start thinking they have abandoned the climate-change-is-a-hoax cohort in Congress.

We know how they vote. In fact, the House Committee on Energy & Commerce voted Tuesday to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from finalizing its rule curbing carbon emissions on new coal and natural gas power plants. They also voted against an amendment by Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky that would have committed them to one thing: acceptance of the science behind climate change. The committee voted 24-20. Not a single Republican voted for it.

So we know they're not going be doing anything this year to address climate change. So it's going to have to come from the White House.

Tim McDonnell at Mother Jones wrote today:

In his speech last year, Obama threatened to sidestep the legislative branch on actions to mitigate climate change, specifically, if Congress failed to provide its own solutions. [...]

Some of the major goals of climate policy wonks, like putting a price on carbon pollution, can't happen without the help of Congress, but that doesn't mean the president's hands are completely tied; last week, the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University released a report co-authored by former Colorado governor Bill Ritter that details 200 climate actions Obama could take without Congress.

So what options does the president have? Here are a few ideas:

1. Continue the crackdown on coal pollution [...]

2. Fix fracking: The Colorado State report calls on the Bureau of Land Management to apply stringent rules for fracking on public land, like full disclosure of what's in the fracking chemical cocktail, zero tolerance for methane leaks from wells and pipes (a major, unregulated source of highly potent greenhouse gases), and more efficienct water-use practices. [...]

3. Buy green: The federal government is the nation's biggest consumer, spending roughly $350 billion a year on goods and services. That's a lot of buying power to flex in favor of the environment. [...]

4. Get efficient [...]

5. Clear the way for renewable energy [...]

6. Kill Keystone [...]

Blast from the Past. At Daily Kos on this date in 2005Why We Can't Wait... And Why We Must:

Historically, Americans are reluctant to say going to war was a mistake. At no time during the Persian Gulf War in 1991 did a majority of Americans express that view. U.S. troops had been in Vietnam for more than three years before a thin majority said in 1968 that the war was a mistake. The figure peaked at 61% in 1971, the year President Nixon began to pull out U.S. troops in large numbers and turn over combat operations to the South Vietnamese. The last U.S. combat troops left in 1973. After the Vietnam War was long over, the number of Americans considering it a mistake climbed to a high of 71% in 1990.

The fact that the American public has doubts about the war now in such a short period of time is remarkable... (Internets, si... Wurlitzer, no) but that doesn't mean (as in the election of 2004) that the public is ready to withdraw. It will happen. I think Iraq is already lost and the endpoint is inevitable. But 2006 may well be a very realistic timetable.

Tweet of the Day:

Real decline in median middle-class incomes since 1999: $5,000


On today's Kagro in the Morning show, Tom Perkins digs the Kristallnacht hole a little deeper. Greg Dworkin rounds up the continuing Christie plummet in the polls, previews the State of the Union previews, notes the belated arrival of something resembling a Republican alternative to the ACA, and points us to the LGBT rights issue wrapped up in a jury selection case. Armando weighed in on the case, on the Superb Owl, new media ventures launched around Ezra Klein and Glenn Greenwald, and the SOTU. Also, the House takes up its favorite tax-hike bill, under the guise of yet another swing at the abortion issue. And the Los Angeles Times reports "Guns sent 20 children to U.S. hospitals every day, study finds."

High Impact Posts. Top Comments.

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