Today, President Obama gave a policy speech on climate change.  Here’s a summary:

From:  Obama: ‘We Don’t Have Time for a Meeting of the Flat Earth Society’ (VIDEO)

* * * * *

From:  Obama Will Announce Regulation Of CO2 From Existing Power Plants On Tuesday

The White House tweeted on Saturday that Obama’s long-awaited climate speech will come Tuesday afternoon at Georgetown University. The President said in an accompanying video (below):

In my inaugural address, I pledged that America would respond to the growing threat of climate change for the sake of our children and future generations.

This Tuesday, I’ll lay out my vision for where I believe we need to go –- a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it.

The Washington Post reports that, “Obama will couch the effort not only in terms of the nation’s domestic priorities, but as a way to meet the administration’s international pledge to reduce the country’s greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent below 2005 levels.”

From:  Media Push Conservative Narrative By Omitting Court Context Of Climate Change Regulations

Media outlets are pushing the conservative narrative that the Obama administration will “bypass Congress” with a new plan to reduce carbon emissions while ignoring key context: the 2007 Supreme Court decision that explicitly gave the executive branch the power to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act and the endangerment finding that made the EPA “statutorily obligated” to do so.

From:  Is a carbon tax more effective than EPA rules? You might be surprised.

As part of President Obama’s new climate-change plan, the Environmental Protection Agency will design rules to limit carbon emissions from existing power plants. But is this really the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gases?

Many economists will say no, it’s not. EPA rules are a pretty blunt instrument: the Clean Air Act was originally designed for very different pollutants like sulfur and mercury, and the agency will need to get creative in applying the law to a more pervasive gas like carbon dioxide.

A better approach, they’ll typically say, would be for Congress to set a price on carbon that required polluters to pay for the damage caused by their emissions. People would then decide how best to adjust to the new price of fossil fuels on their own. That would be cheaper and more efficient.

Again, that’s the conventional wisdom. But in an interesting recent paper (pdf) for Resources for the Future, Nathan Richardson and Arthur G. Fraas look at this comparison in much greater detail. Their conclusion? It actually depends how each is designed. EPA regulations might even be more effective than a carbon tax in a few cases.

One thought on “Obama on Climate Change: ‘We Don’t Have Time for a Meeting of the Flat Earth Society’

Comments are closed.