As expected President Obama vetoed Republican attempts to dismantle his administration’s efforts to combat air pollution and climate change. The vetoes came only one week after the signing of the COP21 climate agreement in Paris. The President played a crucial role in the signing of the deal and despite their best efforts Republicans failed to undermine the agreement.
“Many of the key signatories of this deal, the architects of this deal, come from centre-right governments. Even the far-right parties in many of these countries, they may not like immigrants for example, but they admit, Yeah the science tells us we’ve got to do something about climate change,” President Obama said.
The GOP’s most recent climate killing combination was focused on attempts to undo the clean power plan. The Republican measures sought to remove carbon pollution standards set by the EPA and standards for GHGs from existing power plants.
As Obama explained:
“Climate change poses a profound threat to our future and future generations…The Clean Power Plan is a tremendously important step in the fight against global climate change… the [Republican] resolution would overturn the Clean Power Plan, which is critical to protecting against climate change and ensuring the health and well-being of our nation, I cannot support it.”
“The American Republican party is the only major party that I can think of in the advanced world that effectively denies climate change,” the president said. “It’s an outlier.”
Republicans have adopted a policy position that will be political suicide in the long term. “My sense is that this is something that may be an advantage in terms of short-term politics in a Republican primary; it’s not something that will be a winner for the Republicans in the long term,” Obama said.
The GOP have painted themselves into a corner and while climate denial may gain some traction in the primary process they are doomed to suffer defeat in the general election in 2016.