The new National Climate Assessment released on Tuesday says the climate is changing, but when it comes to changing climate change, Barry Rabe, a professor of public policy at the University of Michigan, says President Obama has a tough audience.
There’s the coal industry, and, some states — like Texas.
“Attorney General Greg Abbot, perhaps the most likely person to be the next governor of Texas, routinely says, ‘I wake up in the morning, I sue the federal government and then I go home,'” says Rabe, the director of the the Center for Local, State and Urban Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Rabe notes it’s unlikely the administration will push for new legislation during President Obama’s second term.
“It’s not uncommon,” he says, “for presidents, particularly when they move into their second term, to face growing difficulty working with Congress on major domestic legislation.”
Apathy from the public is also a problem, says Jason Bordoff, director of Columbia’s University’s Center on Global Energy Policy — and a past special assistant to the President and senior director for energy and climate change on the staff of the National Security Council.
“Admittedly climate change does not rate very high when you ask people about what their major concerns are,” he says.
But, Bordoff says, public interest in climate change may be picking up. And he says while rules for new power plants already exist, the EPA is drafting regulations for existing plants, due in out in June.
The new rules should set a standard for many kinds of energy – not just coal.