3. Barack Obama
Two of the president’s stated goals for this administration are to implement a cap-and-trade system and to “make the U.S. a leader on climate change.” He has long been preparing for climate change law. His push to expand offshore drilling in March was viewed as a way to potentially appease lawmakers who would be unlikely to support environmental policies that hinder the potential expansion of drilling. And now that a major climate bill is in the works, Obama will need to effectively use his rhetoric, as he did on the issue of health care reform, to rally Democrats to support the bill. Additionally, when the climate change bill enters the inevitably thorny stage of House-Senate conference, it will be up to Obama to steer negotiations.