Archive of US Climate Action (Federal, State)



Previous Executive Climate Action


Obama's inaugural address and climate change

TEXT: "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared."

Obama's State of the Union Address and Climate Change

...But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change...The good news is, we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.



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Previous Senate Climate Legislation Proposals

HERE is a comparison of Senate proposed bills by the Congressional Research Service.


HERE is the Kerry-Lieberman (KL) Senate climate/energy legislation, bill released 12 May 2010, the American Power Act.


HERE is a general description of the KL bill in the NY Times. HERE is another article with details of the political complexities of passing a climate bill in the US. HERE is some analysis of the KL bill regarding the absence of a renewable electricity standard (RES). The RES has been promoted throughout the past decade by wind, solar, geothermal and other organizations as a main driver for green energy growth.
And HERE is John Kerry talking about climate legislation, energy, and special interests:



  • HERE is S.3464, Sen. R. Lugar's "Practical Energy and Climate Plan Act of 2010". HERE is the full text. HERE is information from Sen. Lugar's website.

  • HERE is a description of the Cap-and-Refund "CLEAR" proposal by Cantwell and Collins.

  • HERE is the Kerry/Lieberman/Graham Senate bill proposal of December 2009. HERE is discussion of the KLG bill as of 3/24/10.

  • HERE is a discussion of the earlier Kerry-Boxer Senate bill.

  • HERE is some analysis of these earlier proposals.


The ACES House bill (see below) was before the Senate.


Pending U.S. Senate Legislation in the 112th Congress was (see HERE):


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Previous House Climate Legislation Proposals

HERE is a description of the Waxman-Markey "American Clean Energy and Security" ACES bill passed by the House of Representatives in June, 2009. It provides a "cap-and-trade" system.

The European Union Emission Trading System ETS is a cap-and-trade system.  


Stark Introduces Carbon Tax Bill to Reduce Emissions, Deficit

CBO Says Carbon Tax is Most Economically Efficient Way to Cut Carbon Emissions

Congressman Stark (D-CA) announced the introduction of the Save Our Climate Act, H.R. 3242. This legislation would levy a carbon tax on fossil fuels in order to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, spur development of alternative energy, protect consumers from rising energy costs, mitigate climate change, and reduce our deficit. See HERE for more information. See HERE for a video of Dr. Jim Hansen on fee (tax) and dividend.


Lantos-Smith Bill - Ambassador-at-Large for Global Climate Change 

See HERE. The 2007 Lantos-Smith bill called for active, dedicated U.S. re-engagement in the effort to reach a global agreement on climate change, by among other things, creating an Office for Global Climate Change within the U.S. Department of State to be headed by an Ambassador-at-Large, and requiring a high-level delegation at key international meetings on climate change.

“The United States must take the lead on promoting an international response to the threat of global warming,” said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) during committee consideration of comprehensive legislation he cosponsored with U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) that aims to increase U.S. involvement in the effort to reach a global agreement on climate change.


Pending U.S. House Legislation in the 112th Congress was (see HERE):


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Obstruction of climate legislation

A persistent political fact is that Republicans have been attacking climate legislation and regulation using every conceivable weapon. One such tactic is a proposal (2011) for a federal spending cap that would preclude climate legislation at a US national level; see HERE.

(11/02/10): Republicans take the House. Passage of a climate bill in the Senate is now dead for the immediate future. For analysis, read Paul Krugman's op-ed, Who Cooked the Planet?

The Administration had been looking for a way to produce a bill with climate provisions, negotiated between House and Senate, see HERE. An excellent essay of the political negotiation details is in The New Yorker Magazine of October 11, 2010 - HERE. Democrats drop climate/energy bill - 2010  

Oil and gas companies responded in 2009 with a $175 million lobbying offensive to oppose a climate bill, and the American Petroleum Institute rolled out "citizen rallies"; see HERE.

Here is one way to characterize the climate legislation obstruction problem:

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The EPA regulatory authority Supreme Court obligation has been under legal and legislative attacks. The ACES House bill would remove the EPA greenhouse gas regulatory authority, the Kerry-Boxer Senate bill would not.

Republicans, a majority in the House have systematically attacked the EPA, from legislative initiatives to budget cuts. For example, the House voted to cut the budget of an EPA program (Greenhouse Gas Registry) that collects data on greenhouse-gas emissions from U.S. companies. However the US Senate, requiring an unobtainable 60 votes, is rejecting Republican proposals, see HERE. This continues earlier Senate actions, for example the Murkowski Resolution attack on the EPA was defeated. The American Petroleum Institute expressed disappointment. Various legal attacks from energy companies and others are underway. The proposed budget from the White House includes an EPA funding cut.

The EPA on July 29, 2010 rejected 10 petitions from contrarian/denier organizations attacking the EPA's authority. "The endangerment finding is based on years of science from the U.S. and around the world. These petitions -- based as they are on selectively edited, out-of-context data and a manufactured controversy -- provide no evidence to undermine our determination. Excess greenhouse gases are a threat to our health and welfare,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “Defenders of the status quo will try to slow our efforts to get America running on clean energy. A better solution would be to join the vast majority of the American people who want to see more green jobs, more clean energy innovation and an end to the oil addiction that pollutes our planet and jeopardizes our national security.” Complete information is HERE.


EPA Public Hearings and Responses to contrarian attacks (2009)

The EPA (see HERE) published a very long and detailed 11 volume response to the various contrarian attacks against it during the public hearings held in 2009.

By subject:

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California Proposition 23. [Note: Prop 23 was defeated]. The destructive proposed fossil-fuel supported Prop 23 attacks California greenhouse gas mitigation, and will hurt renewable energy business. Climate Progress reports that the Nov. 2 ballot measure would delay the implementation of certain parts of Assembly Bill 32, the 2006 law requiring that the state reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, until the state’s 12.3 percent unemployment rate drops to 5.5 percent for four consecutive calendar quarters. George Shultz, former Secretary of State under Reagan and co-chairman of the campaign against Proposition 23, says "So we have a three-pronged set of problems" created by greenhouse gases. "Security, economic and environmental."

For a detailed analysis of Prop 23 by the UU-UNO Climate Initiative's Larry Danos, click HERE.

Here is the anti-Prop 23 logo:

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