Barack Obama is prepared to stake his own political prestige on getting climate change legislation through Congress, and would be willing to intervene directly to ensure passage of America’s first law to reduce the carbon emissions that cause global warming.
Nancy Sutley, who is pivotal in setting Obama’s green agenda as the chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, told the Guardian that the president is ready to use his considerable personal popularity to rally Congress behind a sweeping climate change bill.
Only President Obama can change the political dynamic and get an acceptable bill through Congress, particularly the Senate, in the next 12 months (see “Reid: Senate to wait for House bill, effectively delaying final bill until 2010. Here’s why that should be good news“).
If Obama is prepared to put his political prestige on the line for climate and clean energy legislation, as Sutley says, then its chances of passage increase sharply. I have confidence that Obama will do so because, since his election, all of his major appointments, actions, and speeches reveal that he gets it — by which I mean he understands that future generations will inevitably judge all 21st-century presidents on just two issues: global warming and the clean energy transition. If the world doesn’t stop catastrophic climate change “” Hell and High Water “” then all Presidents, indeed, all of us, will be seen as failures and rightfully so (see “The clean energy FDR: Obama’s first 100 days make “” and may remake “” history“).
The Guardian story notes: