Speaking by video to a climate conference in Los Angeles, Mr. Obama repeated his campaign vow to reduce climate-altering carbon dioxide emissions by 80 percent by 2050, and invest $150 billion in new energy-saving technologies.
“Now is the time to confront this challenge once and for all,” Mr. Obama said. “Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response.”
Some industry leaders and members of Congress have suggested that Mr. Obama’s climate proposal would impose too great a cost on an already-stressed economy — having the same effects as a tax on coal, oil and natural gas — and should await the end of the current downturn. A bill similar to Mr. Obama’s plan failed to clear the Senate earlier this year, largely because of concerns about its impact on the economy.
Mr. Obama rejected that view, saying that his plan would reduce oil imports, create jobs in energy conservation and renewable sources of energy, and reverse the warming of the atmosphere.
“My presidency will mark a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process,” Mr. Obama said.
State officials and environmental advocates were cheered that Mr. Obama choose to address climate change as only the second major policy area he has discussed as president-elect. In a press conference and television interview last week he said that his first priority as president will be to revitalize the economy.
The bipartisan summit meeting was convened by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Republican governor of California, who has been a leader in state efforts to regulate greenhouse gases, even when it meant confronting the Bush administration over its more hesitant approach. Attendees included the governors of Illinois, Florida, Wisconsin and Kansas, who have also been in the forefront of actions at the state level to act in the absence of a national climate change plan. Officials from 22 other states, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Brazil, China, India and Indonesia, as well as United Nations aides and environmentalists, also are taking part in the two-day meeting.
Mr. Schwarzenegger announced the meeting in September in part to signal to Washington and the two presidential candidates that the states were serious about moving forward with climate legislation with or without Washington’s blessing.
California enacted a sweeping climate bill in 2007 that would have, among other things, imposed strict mileage and emissions standards on all cars and trucks sold in the state. More than a dozen other states adopted the standards, but they were struck down by the Bush administration last December on the ground that the states did not have the legal authority to regulate greenhouse gases.
“When California passed its global warming law two years ago, we were out there on an island,” Mr. Schwarzenegger said in opening the conference, “so we started forming partnerships everywhere we could.”
Mr. Obama said that although he would not attend a U.N.-sponsored meeting on climate change next month, he has asked members of Congress who are going to report back to him on what the United States can do to reassert leadership on global climate policy.
He also told the state officials: “When I am president, any governor who’s willing to promote clean energy will have a partner in the White House. Any company that’s willing to invest in clean energy will have an ally in Washington. And any nation that’s willing to join the cause of combating climate change will have an ally in the United States of America.”
Governor Jim Doyle, Democrat of Wisconsin, said in a telephone interview from Los Angeles that he had been frustrated by what he said was the Bush administration’s timid approach to climate issues. And he said that despite the current economic crisis, it was important to begin long-term efforts to address global warming.“I think we all wish the economy was a lot better, but I feel very strongly that we can’t back away from progress we’ve made on really important things like climate change,” Mr. Doyle said. “I’m looking forward to having a federal government and a president who will provide real leadership and bring the United States into the world on this issue.”
Love your way... you are Brilliant!
Alan Davidson is the author of the Free report
"Body Breakthroughs for Life Breakthroughs: How to Peak Your
Physical, Emotional, Mental, Moral, and Spiritual IQs for a
available at www.throughyourbody.com
Alan is also the author of Body Brilliance:
Mastering Your Five Vital Intelligences (IQs)