Climate-change agenda a “top priority” in the second term

posted at 1:51 pm on January 18, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

What will Barack Obama’s second-term agenda push hardest?  The Associated Press says climate change will be at the top of the priority list, even though it doesn’t even appear on the list of voter concerns:

President Barack Obama’s second-term energy agenda is taking shape and, despite the departure of key Cabinet officials, it looks a lot like the first: more reliance on renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and expanded production of oil and natural gas. Obama also is promising to address climate change, an issue he has acknowledged was sometimes overlooked during his first term.

“The president has been clear that tackling climate change and enhancing energy security will be among his top priorities in his second term,” said Clark Stevens, a White House spokesman.

How important is this for the American people?  It’s so important that it doesn’t even appear on Gallup’s survey from earlier this week.  Gallup asked the open-ended question about the priorities of general-population American adults, and the top five issues were the economy, the federal deficit, dissatisfaction with government, unemployment, and lack of money.  Not one response related to the environment ended up on the list.  Clearly, the electorate’s priorities are not terribly in sync with those of the White House.  (Gun control, their other major push, only got mentioned by four percent, so this isn’t exactly news, I grant you.)

One important clue for the direction Obama will take will be the Keystone XL pipeline.  Approval for the new route got kicked past the election by Obama, even though the Republican House tried to force his hand last year in the middle of a budget fight.  The US could score tens of thousands of jobs through the project as well as strengthen ties with Canada (and deny China the opportunity for cheap crude), but environmentalists are demanding that Obama stop the pipeline:

The pipeline has become a flashpoint in a bitter partisan dispute. Republicans and many business groups say the project would help achieve energy independence for North America and create thousands of jobs.

But environmental groups have urged Obama to block the pipeline, which they say would transport “dirty oil” from tar sands in western Canada and produce heat-trapping gases that contribute to global warming. They also worry about a possible spill.

If the pipeline is approved, “the administration would be actively supporting and encouraging the growth of an industry which has demonstrably serious effects on climate,” 18 top climate scientists wrote in a letter to Obama this week.

Yes, it’s Obama’s job to control the weather, says the Sierra Club:

Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club, said Obama’s second term will be pivotal in the fight against climate change, which he called the “singular issue of our time for anyone who cares about clean air, clean water and a safe future for our families.”

Brune urged Obama to take “swift, decisive action to prevent more erratic weather, superstorms and wildfires.”

No doubt these groups are thrilled to be dealing with Obama rather than Mitt Romney, who represented the filthy rich and the environmental abusers.  Thank goodness we’ll be celebrating Obama’s inauguration next week, they must be telling themselves, so that people who really care about the environment can rally around the President!

And about that rally

Charter buses, family minivans and trains are all arriving in the area, as hundreds of thousands of people make their way to President Barack Obama’s second inauguration.

Then there are those arriving by private planes — enough to close a runway at Dulles International Airport to clear out enough space for them to park.

“We expect about 300 private aircraft this inauguration,” says David Mould, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

“We have parking areas at Dulles Airport that will accommodate a number of aircraft, but when those begin to fill up, we will move them out onto the runway area that we have reserved for this purpose,” he says.

Say, remember when corporate jets were the real cause of the trillion-dollar budget deficits? Good times, good times.  I wonder why all of these Obama supporters won’t fly commercial and save the environment?  Don’t they know that using private airplanes only puts more demand on energy resources — like the Keystone XL pipeline?

As Instapundit often writes, when they act like it’s a crisis, then I’ll take it more seriously.

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