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Obama’s new climate strategy

The Washington Post reports on President Obama’s new strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:

A White House official said energy would remain a top priority for the administration but would be packaged differently.

“I think you’ll see in the next few weeks the administration say, ‘Okay, you may not necessarily agree with the science on climate change, you may not see tackling greenhouse gases as a real priority, but what we can all agree on is creating jobs and investing in a clean-energy economy that’s going to leave the U.S. more competitive,’ ” said Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate-change policy.

Facing dim prospects for passing cap-and-trade legislation in the Senate, Obama is looking at the low-hanging fruit. On the congressional side, that means energy efficiency, electric vehicles, incentives for natural gas and a renewable energy standard. For more on this, see my post on potential areas of legislative compromise between Republicans and Democrats.

But it’s the regulatory side where Obama can have the most impact. The administration is expected in the next several months to pass new greenhouse gas limits on stationary sources as well as new limits on ozone pollution. But there are a number of lawmakers who are trying to keep the administration from exercising its regulatory authority to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), who is likely to win her nail-biter of a re-election race, renewed her call to block the EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions yesterday. She tried to pass such a resolution in the Senate in June, but the proposal failed in a 53-47 vote. Now, with more Republicans in the Senate, a new proposal to block the EPA could pass.

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