Obama: Climate Plan Will Help U.S. Negotiate With China, India

President Obama takes questions from the media in the East Room of the White House on June 29, 2011.
National Journal
Ben Geman
Add to Briefcase
Ben Geman
Jan. 23, 2014, 8:16 a.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama is un­der no il­lu­sion that U.S. cli­mate policies alone can rein in glob­al warm­ing. In newly pub­lished com­ments in The New York­er, Obama says they’re cru­cial to work­ing with China and In­dia, the world’s largest and third-largest green­house-gas emit­ters (the U.S. is No. 2).

“This is why I’m put­ting a big pri­or­ity on our car­bon ac­tion plan here. It’s not be­cause I’m ig­nor­ant of the fact that these emer­ging coun­tries are go­ing to be a big­ger prob­lem than us. It’s be­cause it’s very hard for me to get in that con­ver­sa­tion if we’re mak­ing no ef­fort,” Obama said.

“And it’s not an an­swer for us to say, well, since the Chinese and the In­di­ans are the big­ger prob­lem, we might as well not even both­er,” Obama adds.

The com­ments come as Re­pub­lic­ans say the White House policies — not­ably planned car­bon-emis­sions stand­ards for power plants — will scarcely make a dent world­wide when green­house emis­sions in China, In­dia, and oth­er de­vel­op­ing na­tions are soar­ing.

U.S. car­bon emis­sions, in con­trast, have fallen in re­cent years and are about 10 per­cent be­low their 2005 levels, al­though they ticked up slightly in 2013.

Obama’s com­ments are some of his most ex­tens­ive on en­ergy and cli­mate since he rolled out his second-term glob­al-warm­ing agenda last June.

In The New York­er, he em­phas­izes the need to share U.S. R & D on low-emis­sions coal tech­no­lo­gies with China and In­dia. He also says the U.S. gas-drilling boom can be part of the solu­tion on cli­mate glob­ally — if meth­ane emis­sions and oth­er con­cerns are ad­dressed.

“If it’s not done cor­rectly, the meth­ane emis­sions are pro­found. There could be, ob­vi­ously, en­vir­on­ment­al con­sequences if some of the chem­ic­als in­volved seep in­to the ground­wa­ter,” Obama said.

“But, if we can get that right, then for us to see nat­ur­al gas sup­plant coal around the world the same way it’s hap­pen­ing here in the United States, that’s a net plus,” he said.

The com­ments are an­oth­er re­mind­er of the split between the White House and some en­vir­on­ment­al­ists on en­ergy, and Obama ac­know­ledges as much by not­ing “some­times I get in­to ar­gu­ments with en­vir­on­ment­al­ists on something like car­bon cap­ture or nat­ur­al gas.”

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is much more bullish on U.S. oil and gas de­vel­op­ment than ma­jor green groups, who this month urged the White House to ditch it’s “all of the above” en­ergy policy that em­phas­izes do­mest­ic fossil fuels along­side the green en­ergy sources that act­iv­ists em­brace.

What We're Following See More »
TWO MONTHS AFTER REFUSING AT CONVENTION
Cruz to Back Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST
WHO TO BELIEVE?
Two Polls for Clinton, One for Trump
1 days ago
THE LATEST

With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:

  • An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clin­ton lead­ing Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary John­son at 7%.
  • A Mc­Clatchy-Mar­ist poll gave Clin­ton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way bal­lot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
  • Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
NO SURPRISE
Trump Eschewing Briefing Materials in Debate Prep
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shun­ning tra­di­tion­al de­bate pre­par­a­tions, but has been watch­ing video of…Clin­ton’s best and worst de­bate mo­ments, look­ing for her vul­ner­ab­il­it­ies.” Trump “has paid only curs­ory at­ten­tion to brief­ing ma­ter­i­als. He has re­fused to use lecterns in mock de­bate ses­sions des­pite the ur­ging of his ad­visers. He prefers spit­balling ideas with his team rather than hon­ing them in­to crisp, two-minute an­swers.”

Source:
TRUMP NO HABLA ESPANOL
Trump Makes No Outreach to Spanish Speakers
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."

Source:
$1.16 MILLION
Clintons Buy the House Next Door in Chappaqua
1 days ago
WHY WE CARE

Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."

Source:
×