Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 13, 2016

‘Zero’ Chance Congress Can Block Obama’s Climate Change Regulations, Podesta Says

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (left) and Podesta, center. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, left, and Podesta, center, are working to push through sweeping climate change regulations. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s second term may be sweeping climate change regulations, and he isn’t about to let Congress rein him in.

White House adviser John Podesta, back at the White House podium, said congressional Republicans will not be able to block the president’s climate regulations, despite numerous legislative efforts to do so.

“Those have zero percent chance of working,” Podesta said. “We’re committed. … There are no takers at this end of Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Podesta, the former Clinton-era chief of staff, has been known for pushing a more aggressive “pen” approach to executive power rather than waiting on Congress. He did cite the energy efficiency bill sponsored by Sens. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., that is heading for the Senate floor this week as an example of the kind of action Congress might be able to take on climate this year — if it isn’t filibustered first.

Podesta said climate change is clear, and “we need all hands on deck” to fight it to avoid the most catastrophic effects, with a new national report coming out Tuesday talking about the impact on the United States.

But Podesta said the United States is on track to meet Obama’s goal of a 17 percent cut in emissions from 2005 levels by 2020.

He also backed the practice of fracking, saying that that it’s been mostly positive because natural gas has replaced dirtier fuels.

He said that the United States is now the No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas worldwide — and touted the new jobs from the growth in the oil and gas sector, which he attributed to a “practical approach” on the part of the president.

At the same time, he said, renewable energy has grown dramatically, with solar up 10 times and wind tripling under Obama.

During the briefing, Podesta also declined to talk about the Keystone XL pipeline — reiterating that he has recused himself from that issue. (The Podesta-founded Center for American Progress is fighting the pipeline.)

  • aNativeTexan

    Mr. Podesta is wrong and so is Mr. Obama. Neither wants to have an open debate about the climate. All the Democrats want is to raise more taxes to spend on so called green projects that their crony friends have invested in so they get Federal money than they go bankrupt leaving taxpayers on the hook for billions of dollars that could have been spent reducing the debt.
    Let the country have an open debate on climate. Let us hear from scientists who don’t get grants and subsidies from governments and are not bias toward controlling the public’s energy consumption.
    Remember just three days of volcanic eruptions in Iceland negates all the so call benefits of the climate control regulations over the last decade. Plus it is hard to believe an administration that has constantly lied to the American public since it took office in 2009.( you can keep your doctor, summer of recovery, shovel ready jobs, it was anti-Islamic video that cause the attack, ect., ect.)

  • Oak Ridge Curmudgeon

    I support Climate Change… starting w/ Political Climate in DC. Push out Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Gore, and their policies comprised largely of noxious hot air…

  • mememine

    Climate Blame is Obomber’s Iraq War.
    Deniers demand certainty because in three decades not one IPCC warning has ever said the words; “inevitable” or “eventual” or “proven” or “inescapable” or “unavoidable” or anything beyond “could be” and their laughable; “95%” certainty that THE END COULD BE NEAR!

    And get ahead of the curve;
    *Occupywallstreet now does not even mention CO2 in its list of demands because of the bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.
    *Canada killed Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister and nobody cared, especially the millions of scientists warning us of unstoppable warming (a comet hit).
    Will it be too late when they are 100% certain? Who’s the neocon? Deny that.

  • No Liars 2014

    This is a nice Political smoke screen. We are in an election year, the Dems don’t want the American voters focusing on the real problems in this administration, like an anemic economy, flaccid foreign policy, an extreme overreach in healthcare reform, loss of respect worldwide, etc.. @noliars2014:disqus

  • brunsk42

    He said that the United States is now the No. 1 producer of oil and natural gas worldwide — and touted the new jobs from the growth in the oil and gas sector, which he attributed to a “practical approach” on the part of the president.

    The president gets no credit,, all the drilling and production has been on private land, not on federal land per se obama.. He gets ZERO credit..

  • CB

    Nonsense. Let’s have a debate about the climate!

    If we aren’t headed for total polar meltdown, sea level rise of 246 feet and the drowning of the habitat occupied by half of humanity just with the CO₂ already in the air, why isn’t there a single previous example in Earth’s history of polar ice caps withstanding CO₂ so high?

    If Climate Deniers were interested in an actual debate, why hasn’t a single one been able to answer this simple question?

  • radiobill

    Spoken like a true Texan…..idiot

  • Defend The Constitution

    In climate news, a massive 67% increase In Arctic Ice during 2013:

  • petesta

    Better do more research. Ice caps are increasing in size. You listin too much to Al Gore

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