Obama to move swiftly on energy, climate — Podesta

E&E News (subs. req’d) reported last night:

President-elect Barack Obama plans to move quickly to implement his campaign promises on energy and global warming after taking office in January, Obama’s transition co-chairman, John Podesta, said today.

Speaking to reporters from Obama’s transition office in Washington, Podesta did not directly address a question about whether the economic downturn would influence the incoming administration’s decision on whether to regulate greenhouse gases through the Clean Air Act. Instead, Podesta, former chief of staff to President Clinton, offered a broad outline of where Obama would go with global warming and energy issues:

“I anticipate him moving very aggressively and very rapidly on the whole question of transforming the American platform in the United States from one that’s based on high-carbon energy to one that’s based on low-carbon energy,” Podesta said. “To move toward clean energy. And to make the right kinds of investments, which I think that will again serve the three goals of dealing with the security challenge of our oil dependency, of our environmental challenge that we face from global warming in particular, as your question implied, and the economic challenge of creating new investment, new innovation, putting people back to work and getting the economy moving again.”

Podesta also avoided providing a direct answer when asked if Obama planned to grant California’s request for a U.S. EPA waiver that would allow it and more than a dozen other states to enforce state laws limiting greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.

“As you know, the president-elect during the campaign suggested he wants to rely on science,” Podesta said. “And I think that’s a matter that’s under review by the transition. And we’ll move forward consistent with what he said during the campaign.”

Last week it was reported that Obama would quickly move to sign a waiver, and I believe he will (see “Obama win paves the way for big changes in energy, environment debate“).

7 Responses to Obama to move swiftly on energy, climate — Podesta

  1. Modesty says:

    Gore and many others also use this triptych, but it’s problematic.

    The transition from the fossil economy to the new energy economy is the thread that promises hope for national security, hope for the economy, and hope for the climate.

    Note, though, how the rhetoric too often lets climate collapse into “the environment” as in Gore’s:

    “our dangerous over-reliance on carbon-based fuels is at the core of all three of these challenges – the economic, environmental and national security crises”

    and Podesta’s:

    “the three goals of dealing with the security challenge of our oil dependency, of our environmental challenge that we face from global warming in particular, as your question implied, and the economic challenge.”

    Because of the inherent lowly status of “the environment” next to manly-man problems like war and peace, profits and losses, drilling and mining, the triptych distortion is unhelpful.

    These are not separate canvasses connected only by a fossil thread; these are not buckets.

    Climate affects national security, in and of itself. Climate affects the economy, in and of itself.

    The answers lie in the energy transition, but the questions are more complex than the facile triptych suggests.

  2. Henry Hill says:

    At this point the DOW is down 1200 points since Obama gave his victory speech. The market basically discounts what they think conditions will be six to twelve months down the road. It’s looking more and more like they are discounting for economic disaster under Obama. And they are undoubtedly right. Every one of Obama’s plan will stress the economy further. Nothing that he plans will help it.

  3. chris holly says:

    So, why is this considered news? Obama said in the second debate that energy would be the first thing his administration would tackle as the best way to address the economic crisis, and he said it again in debate 3. So because Podesta says it again it’s news?

    On a separate note about Mr. Hill’s remarks, that’s like the House Republicans noting that gas prices rose $1.50 or whatever since Pelosi/Dems took over, ignoring the fact that they rose three times that much since Bush took office.

  4. Henry Hill says:

    “ignoring the fact that they rose three times that much since Bush took office.”

    Let’s see, three times 1.50 would be 4.50. So you are saying that you were getting paid for every gallon of gas that you took before Bush came to office. This is what left wingers and ecologists call socially responsible math.

  5. BillR says:

    Henry Hill: Does this mean that I get to lay the drop of the DOW from the 14,000 it was at to it’s low of near 8,500 prior to Obama’s election solely at the feet of Bush?

    Don’t be stupid, there are many many many things going on in our economy right now, collapsing home prices, a market that was deregulated enough to allow trillions of dollars of worthless financial instruments to be created, and a great deal of fear.

    There is absolutely no way for you to concretely know why the dow is continuing to drop right now. Certainly the Treasury announcing today that they will no longer use the apportioned $700 billion to buy toxic assets, but will now instead directly “inject” capital by buying stock in banks suggest that even they are making this up as they go along.

  6. Ronald says:

    Economics and Climatology have a lot of things in common; that with both people want to read and cherry pick into them what they want to.

    Some will say all a country has to do is lower taxes and the economy will do better forever. Okay, Clinton raised taxes in 1993, his first year in office, and his 8 years created 23 million jobs. Bush43 lowered taxes for many high income earners and his 8 years created 4.5 million jobs and dropping. Reagan lowered taxes and created large budget deficits and adding to gov debt and 20 million jobs were created between 1980 and 1990; but between 1970 and 1980, 20 million jobs were also created. That means that the rate of job growth under Reagan was less than the job growth of the years earlier. The economy was already a job growth economy before Reagan and his tax cuts.

    What can be said about all that. Certainly that republicans have said look at how many jobs the Reagans years have created; but then no mention of the number of jobs that were created before Reagan. It’s easy to cherry pick, pick the numbers and facts that a person wants to make their point, but will conveniently leave out what discounts their opinion.

    The same thing happens with our climate science. And when billions of dollars are at stake based on what we believe, it’s hard to have completely honest opinions on things. Obviously that’s why we have a peer review science program to develop an honest and true picture of global warming and humans contribution to it. I realize that I’m not writing anything that most don’t already know, but it is so easy to even self deceive. Many of us are comfort seekers and not truth seekers.

  7. Ronald says:

    I’ll mention that republicans in 1993 said that there is no way that the economy can grow with the Clinton tax increases. Republicans said it was calamity, it was the ruin of an economy, it could not possibly work to raises taxes. A few short years later republicans were proved wrong, even if it didn’t help Clinton and democtates in public opinion, votes and seats in Congress.

    A most important picture at that time was when Federal Reserve Chairman Greenspan was sitting next to Mrs Clinton during a state of the union speech. Was Greenspan signaling his support? Sure looked that way.