I’d say Obama has t two main objectives when it comes to environmental legislation.
1) Domestically, get congress to pass a progressive environmental bill. He is trying to do this by meeting with the Republican party directly to expedite the process
2) Internationally, use diplomacy, or if neccessary economic sanctions, to get Russia and Mexico to agree to greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Obama could try to do this either through the UN, the WTO or IMF, or in the case of Mexico, use NAFTA as leverage to pressure the government of Mexico to pass a law.
As of today, it may be awhile before Obama can get anything substantial done concerning environmental policy with Republicans in control of the House.
And, as of today, I think there’s a likely chance that with a conservative majority in Congress – and possibly in the White House for next adminstration – any legislation or policies Obama is able to implement will be overturned or seldom enforced.
It would be wonderful to see some bold policy decisions made in the wake of Japan’s nuclear crisis and last year’s oil spill that make strides to protect our natural resources and environment. The climate and energy crises need to be addressed in a serious way. I would like to see Obama make some real commitments to reducing our GHG emissions.
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