Obama Task Force on Climate ‘Resilience’ Gets Icy GOP Welcome

Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) listens during a Senate Energy & Natural Resources Committee Hearing on May 14, 2009.
National Journal
Clare Foran
See more stories about...
Clare Foran
Nov. 4, 2013, 4:02 p.m.

Pres­id­ent Obama’s new­est ef­fort to ad­dress cli­mate change mainly calls for plot­ting strategies, but that didn’t stop Re­pub­lic­ans from at­tack­ing it as an es­cal­a­tion of reg­u­lat­ory ac­tions aimed at by­passing Con­gress.

“The pres­id­ent con­tin­ues to go around Con­gress be­cause he knows the Amer­ic­an people don’t sup­port his cli­mate-change policies that threaten eco­nom­ic growth and jobs,” Sen. John Bar­rasso, R-Wyo., told Na­tion­al Journ­al Daily on Monday. “This new ex­ec­ut­ive or­der will ful­fill the pres­id­ent’s ex­treme goal of in­grain­ing cli­mate change in­to the mis­sion of every fed­er­al agency. By put­ting this in place, it’s clear that this ad­min­is­tra­tion wants every de­cision to be done through the lens of cli­mate change.”

The chair­man of the House En­ergy and Com­merce En­ergy and Power Sub­com­mit­tee, Rep. Ed Whit­field, R-Ky., sim­il­arly de­rided the ad­min­is­tra­tion for fail­ing to en­gage mem­bers of Con­gress in im­ple­ment­ing the pres­id­ent’s second-term cli­mate-change agenda.

“Not sur­pris­ingly, the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion con­tin­ues to be less than trans­par­ent on its gov­ern­ment-wide ac­tions on cli­mate change,” Whit­field said. “This is an­oth­er ex­ample of the pat­tern of con­duct by the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion where — when they do not get their own way — they simply choose to by­pass Con­gress and the demo­crat­ic pro­cess through their on­go­ing use of ex­ec­ut­ive or­ders.”

The GOP fur­or was over an or­der is­sued by Obama late last week set­ting up a Task Force on Cli­mate Pre­pared­ness and Re­si­li­ence man­aged by 24 state, loc­al, and tri­bal lead­ers. The group will re­com­mend im­prove­ments in fed­er­al dis­aster-re­lief pro­grams and ways to in­crease re­si­li­ence in the face of ex­treme weath­er events.

Eight gov­ernors were ap­poin­ted, in­clud­ing Mar­tin O’Mal­ley of Mary­land and Jerry Brown of Cali­for­nia, and all but one — the Re­pub­lic­an gov­ernor of Guam, Ed­die Calvo — are Demo­crats.

Ac­cord­ing to White House spokes­man Bobby Whithorne, the task force was as­sembled from nom­in­a­tions made by the Na­tion­al Gov­ernors As­so­ci­ation and oth­er or­gan­iz­a­tions as well as self-nom­in­a­tions from in­ter­ested parties.

Most of the loc­al of­fi­cials on the task force are also Demo­crats, in­clud­ing May­or Ral­ph Beck­er of Salt Lake City and Los Angeles May­or Eric Gar­cetti.

Nat­ur­ally, Demo­crats on Cap­it­ol Hill were de­lighted by Obama’s an­nounce­ment.

“With the Re­pub­lic­an-con­trolled Con­gress re­fus­ing to en­act any type of le­gis­la­tion, com­pre­hens­ive or oth­er­wise, that would ad­dress the ser­i­ous im­pacts of cli­mate change, I ap­plaud Pres­id­ent Obama for show­ing lead­er­ship on this crit­ic­al is­sue,” Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., said in a state­ment re­leased by the Bicam­er­al Task Force on Cli­mate Change.

Rep. Peter De­Fazio, D-Ore., a mem­ber of the Safe Cli­mate Caucus in the House, sim­il­arly de­fen­ded the ex­ec­ut­ive or­der. “I am pleased the Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion is tak­ing steps to help bet­ter pre­pare com­munit­ies to with­stand the im­pact of cli­mate changes,” De­Fazio said. “There can be little doubt that our cli­mate is chan­ging and warm­ing, lead­ing to more fre­quent and severe storms, droughts, wild­fires, and oth­er weath­er-re­lated dis­asters.”

COR­REC­TION: A pre­vi­ous ver­sion of this story in­cor­rectly stated that the in­ter­agency Coun­cil on Cli­mate Pre­pared­ness and Re­si­li­ence was man­aged by a 24-mem­ber task force made up of state, loc­al, and tri­bal lead­ers. The or­der sets up both an in­ter­agency Coun­cil on Cli­mate Pre­pared­ness and Re­si­li­ence chaired by the White House and a State, Loc­al, and Tri­bal Lead­ers Task Force on Cli­mate Pre­pared­ness and Re­si­li­ence. 

What We're Following See More »
FIRST WOMAN NOMINATED BY MAJOR PARTY
Hillary Clinton Accepts the Democratic Nomination for President
1 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"It is with humility, determination, and boundless confidence in America’s promise that I accept your nomination for president," said Hillary Clinton in becoming the first woman to accept a nomination for president from a major party. Clinton gave a wide-ranging address, both criticizing Donald Trump and speaking of what she has done in the past and hopes to do in the future. "He's taken the Republican party a long way, from morning in America to midnight in America," Clinton said of Trump. However, most of her speech focused instead on the work she has done and the work she hopes to do as president. "I will be a president of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents. For the struggling, the striving, the successful," she said. "For those who vote for me and for those who don't. For all Americans together."

COUNTER-CHANTS AT THE READY
Protesters Make Good on Threat to Disrupt Speech
1 hours ago
THE LATEST

Supporters of Bernie Sanders promised to walk out, turn their backs, or disrupt Hillary Clinton's speech tonight, and they made good immediately, with an outburst almost as soon as Clinton began her speech. But her supporters, armed with a handy counter-chant cheat sheet distributed by the campaign, immediately began drowning them out with chants of "Hillary, Hillary!"

SUFFOLK POLL
New Survey Shows Clinton Up 9 in Pennsylvania
10 hours ago
THE LATEST

If a new poll is to be believed, Hillary Clinton has a big lead in the all-important swing state of Pennsylvania. A new Suffolk University survey shows her ahead of Donald Trump, 50%-41%. In a four-way race, she maintains her nine-point lead, 46%-37%. "Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in the past six presidential elections, going back to Bill Clinton’s first win in 1992. Yet it is a rust belt state that could be in play, as indicated by recent general-election polling showing a close race."

Source:
$500 MILLION PROJECT
Obama Library Heading to Jackson Park in Chicago
10 hours ago
THE DETAILS

"President Barack Obama has chosen Jackson Park, a lakefront park that once hosted the world’s fair on the city’s South Side, for his $500 million presidential library, according to a person familiar with the matter."

Source:
THREE NIGHTS RUNNING
Democrats Beat Republicans in Convention Ratings So Far
11 hours ago
THE DETAILS

Wednesday was the third night in a row that the Democratic convention enjoyed a ratings win over the Republican convention last week. Which might have prompted a fundraising email from Donald Trump exhorting supporters not to watch. "Unless you want to be lied to, belittled, and attacked for your beliefs, don't watch Hillary's DNC speech tonight," the email read. "Instead, help Donald Trump hold her accountable, call out her lies and fight back against her nasty attacks."

Source:
×