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Thu Sep 5, 2013, 09:39 PM

"Obama's Stealth War on Global Warming" [View all]

"Stymied by Congress, President Obama is staffing his administration with appointees ready to take aggressive action on climate change."


As President Obama tries to fight global warming without any backing from a gridlocked Congress, he's using every weapon in his executive arsenal. His Environmental Protection Agency will soon roll out controversial regulations on carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. He's told every Cabinet agency to look into ways it can use its authority to act on climate change. And now the administration is stocking the executive branch with an army of new appointees who have a history of working aggressively on climate issues and clean energy, often from leadership jobs at environmental advocacy groups.

It's not surprising to see a president name a top nominee—for Cabinet secretary, say—who has led the way on an issue the White House cares about. In his first term, for example, Obama named as his Energy secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel physicist who had devoted his career to fighting climate change. With the executive branch the only avenue for the president to make an impact on climate policy, the Obama administration is filling out the second and third tiers of agencies—influential workhorse positions such as chiefs of staff, assistant secretaries, and heads of regulatory commissions—with appointees just as devoted to the cause, with the expectation that they'll muscle through a climate and clean-energy agenda wherever they can.

The strategy is drawing cheers from environmentalists and fire from conservatives, who both agree that these behind-the-scenes positions have a sizable impact on shaping policy. "The president has made it … clear that he wants further action on climate to be a big part of his legacy," said Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch. "He's not going to get cooperation from Congress, so the only way to carve out a legacy on climate is to have folks at federal agencies that can make things happen. Some of these jobs which no one's ever heard of are being filled by people who can make things happen."


"Also raising eyebrows among conservatives is Obama's July appointment of Kevin Knobloch, former president of the Union of Concerned Scientists and a longtime player in the world of climate policy and advocacy, as the Energy Department's new chief of staff. "I cannot imagine a moment in history when we have had a window where the Department of Energy's mission has been more important," Knobloch said of the department's plans to toughen energy-efficiency standards and innovate ways to burn fossil fuels more cleanly."


h/t http://theobamadiary.com/

[font color=blue]This is Posted in the Barack Obama Group[/font]

Mahalo President Obama!

[font color=blue]BOG[/font]

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