POLITICAL observations & opinions

* new battle lines are drawn … Obama uses the executive power of the Presidency to move in environmental issues without Congress … Republicans in Congress will surely fight back … the next two years are going to be very interesting

Posted by Lew Weinstein on December 25, 2010

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson & Interior Secretary Ken Salazar

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AP reports (12/25/10) …

  • The Obama administration took separate actions this week to protect clean air and federal wilderness areas, reaffirming that the White House can pursue its goals without depending on help from an increasingly combative Congress.
  • Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson announced it is moving unilaterally to clamp down on power plant and oil refinery greenhouse emissions, announcing plans for developing new standards over the next year.
  • President Barack Obama had said two days after the midterm elections that he was disappointed Congress hadn’t acted on legislation achieving the same end, signaling that other options were under consideration.
  • Jackson’s announcement came on the same day that the administration showed a go-it-alone approach on federal wilderness protection — another major environmental issue. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said his agency was repealing the Bush era’s policy limiting wilderness protection.
  • The EPA also announced Thursday that it was taking the unprecedented step of directly issuing air permits to industries in Texas, citing the state’s unwillingness to comply with greenhouse gas regulations going into effect Jan. 2.
  • EPA officials said they reluctantly were taking over Clean Air Act Permits for greenhouse gas emissions because “officials in Texas have made clear they have no intention of implementing this portion of the federal air permitting program.”

read the entire article at … http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101225/ap_on_re_us/us_epa_greenhouse_gases

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NYT Editorial (12/24/10) …

  • Republicans in the next Congress are obviously set on limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate a wide range of air pollutants — even if it means denying the agency money to run its programs and chaining its administrator, Lisa Jackson, to the witness stand.
  • Fred Upton, who will become the next chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, says he plans to call Ms. Jackson so often for questioning that he’ll guarantee her a permanent parking space on Capitol Hill.

read the entire editorial at … http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/25/opinion/25sat1.html?_r=1&hp=&adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1293274819-2VanPE8nMTiCH77u65mtYQ

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LMW COMMENT …

These actions on the environment are exactly the aggressive executive action many of us were calling on President Obama to take. I think this is going to be a very interesting two years as Obama learns how to use the extensive powers of the presidency and the Republicans in Congress try to thwart his efforts.

see previous post … * Obama’s opportunity … finding the higher ground is within the powers of the Presidency … Mr. President: go for it!

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