At a speech this afternoon at Georgetown University, President Obama outlined a series of aggressive steps aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing the nation to adapt to the now unavoidable effects of climate change. Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar Lisa Heinzerling issued the following reaction:
The President’s speech offered exactly what many of us have been waiting to hear from him: A solid commitment to use the tools available to the EPA to finally get the federal government out of slow gear on climate change. In particular, by extending emissions limits to existing power plants, he’s taking dead aim at the most severe environmental problem facing the planet. Protests from industry and its allies on the Hill overlook an important reality: The Clean Air Act already gives the EPA authority to adopt such rules, and the Supreme Court has so ruled.
Heinzerling is a Professor of Law at Georgetown University. From January 2009 to July 2009, she served as Senior Climate Policy Counsel to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and then, from July 2009 to December 2010, she served as Associate Administrator of EPA’s Office of Policy. Before her EPA service, she was the lead author of the winning briefs in Massachusetts v. EPA, in which the Supreme Court held that the Clean Air Act gives EPA the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.