Skip Navigation

Close and don't show again.

Your browser is out of date.

You may not get the full experience here on National Journal.

Please upgrade your browser to any of the following supported browsers:

Obama Raises Stakes Against GOP Climate Skeptics Obama Raises Stakes Against GOP Climate Skeptics

This ad will end in seconds
 
Close X

Not a member? Learn More »

Forget Your Password?

Don't have an account? Register »

Reveal Navigation
 

 

Energy

Obama Raises Stakes Against GOP Climate Skeptics

(SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

photo of Ben Geman
May 28, 2014

President Obama's foreign policy speech to West Point graduates Wednesday leveled a serious charge against Republicans who deny human-induced climate change: You're threatening national security.

Check out the progression of the few climate sentences in Obama's wide-ranging remarks. He starts by telling the grads that battling global warming requires global cooperation. Then he says climate change is "a creeping national security crisis that will help shape your time in uniform, as we're called on to respond to refugee flows, natural disasters, and conflicts over water and food."

OK, that's worrisome, and that security message sets up Obama's pitch for trying to reach a United Nations-brokered climate accord at a make-or-break 2015 meeting in Paris: "That's why, next year, I intend to make sure America is out front in a global framework to preserve our planet."

 

Then Obama looks at the U.S. role, and here's where the speech includes what looks like a subtle pitch for imminent EPA regulations to cut power plants' carbon emissions: "You see, American influence is always stronger when we lead by example. We cannot exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everyone else," Obama says.

The remarks arrive just a few days before EPA (and maybe Obama himself) unveils first-time carbon-pollution standards for existing power plants. Obama's "influence" line is another version of what Obama told The New Yorker months ago about domestic action giving the U.S. leverage with China and India, the world's largest and third-largest emitters (the U.S. is No. 2).

Finally, we get to a thinly veiled jab at the GOP: "We can't call on others to make commitments to combat climate change if so many of our political leaders deny that it is taking place."

Run it backwards: GOP climate skepticism is a roadblock to global cooperation on the "creeping" national security crisis that these graduates will face.

This article appears in the May 29, 2014 edition of NJ Daily.

LIKE THIS STORY? Sign up for Energy Edge

Sign up for our daily newsletter and stay on top of energy coverage.

Sign up form for Energy Edge
Job Board
Search Jobs
Biomedical Service Internship Position
American Society of Civil Engineers | Flint, MI
Fire Sprinkler Inspector
American Society of Civil Engineers | Charlotte, NC
Professional Development Program Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Farmington Hills, MI
Deputy Director of Transit Operations
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Jose, CA
Transportation Planner
American Society of Civil Engineers | Salinas, CA
Assistant Professor - Water Resources/Ecological Engineering
American Society of Civil Engineers | Auburn, AL
Product Manager - Chemical Development and Supply - Tulsa, OK
American Society of Civil Engineers | Tulsa, OK
Commissioning Intern
American Society of Civil Engineers | Chicago, IL
Assessment and Remediation Team Lead
American Society of Civil Engineers | Regina, SK
Business Development Manager
American Society of Civil Engineers
Sr. Controls Systems Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Grand Island, NE
Senior Project Manager- Transportation
American Society of Civil Engineers | San Antonio, TX
Materials Engineer 2
American Society of Civil Engineers | IL
Land Surveyor
American Society of Civil Engineers
Quality Engineer
American Society of Civil Engineers | Attica, IN
 
Comments
comments powered by Disqus