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President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.
The result could be significant delays for natural gas- export facilities, ports for coal sales to Asia, and even new forest roads, industry lobbyists warn.
"It’s got us very freaked out," said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of the National Association of Manufacturers, a Washington-based group that represents 11,000 companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) and Southern Co. (SO)
I won't say I'm a single issue voter, but fighting climate change is fifty times more important to me than any other issue, and I'm very pleased to see President Obama at least try to change things on his own.
This is really, really huge:
The White House is looking at requiring consideration of both the increase in greenhouse gases and a project’s vulnerability to flooding, drought or other extreme weather that might result from global warming, according to an initial proposal it issued in 2010. Those full reports would be required for projects with 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions or more per year, the equivalent of burning about 100 rail cars of coal.
With solar reaching price parity with other forms of electricity by next year in some places, this unilateral action will buy us what we need most right now--time. We need time until greed itself works against climate change.
I'm elated, and for those who say there is no daylight between Democrats and Republicans, you couldn't be more wrong.