The Hill –
President Obama has a chance to craft a second-term legacy on climate change even as the rest of his agenda runs aground in Congress.
Gun control legislation is dead; immigration reform is on life support; and reaching a fiscal deal with Republicans appears to be a long shot.
To make matters worse, what was supposed to be his signature first-term achievement — ObamaCare — is suffering from a disastrous rollout.But there’s one thing that’s going right for Obama: Executive action on climate change is moving full-speed ahead at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
“He may be able to do more through climate change [rules] because the EPA has the authority,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told The Hill on Thursday.
The most far-reaching piece of Obama’s climate plan is carbon emission standards for the nation’s fleet of existing power plants, by far the largest single source of industrial carbon emissions. The EPA is also writing standards for new plants.
“I think climate change, immigration reform are both sort of legacy issues,” Blumenthal said. “The measure of his presidency will be whether he has left changes in law and regulation, but also a heightened awareness, which I think he has been doing.”