Granted, it’s not often that John Boehner has much in the way of nice things to say about the President, but he doesn’t always get quite this direct about it. What might have prompted this?
News broke this week the Obama administration is considering aggressive regulations of power plants and carbon dioxide emissions. Boehner castigated the idea as a job-killer.
“I think this is absolutely crazy,” he said. “Why would you want to increase the cost of energy and kill more American jobs at a time when the American people are still asking the question, ‘Where are the jobs?’
“Clear enough?” he added to his questioner.
This came about after the Speaker was asked about a rather unpopular speech given by Obama during his recent trip abroad. In an apparent attempt to salve the wounds of those among his base who don’t hate him by now, the President tossed out a few hints about his upcoming environmental plans.
“There are only a few substantive, meaningful actions the administration can take short of dealing with existing power plants,” said S. William Becker, executive director of the National Assn. of Clean Air Agencies, a group of local and state air pollution regulators. “So I’d be extremely surprised if existing power plants weren’t one of the top priorities the administration is pursuing.”
The White House declined to comment on the deliberations, instead citing President Obama’s past comments on climate change. The Edison Electric Institute, the power industry’s trade group, also declined to comment.
Still, Heather Zichal, White House deputy assistant for energy and climate change, said at an environmental conference in Washington last week that “in the coming weeks and months, you can expect to hear more from the president on this issue.”
In some ways, this is actually a refreshing development. Without the fear of another election hanging over his head, Barack Obama is free to cut loose and let us know what some of his plans really include. (And even if they’re unpopular, they might distract some people from the recent scandals.) It’s coming at a curious time, given that Congress is currently looking at finally getting rid of the bio-fuels, ethanol mandate which has been little more than a disaster. At the same time, a lower court has already thrown out the EPA’s cross state emissions rules and the Supreme Court is currently deciding whether or not to even hear an appeal on the point.
There’s a lot the administration would like to do in terms of mandating industry activity in these areas, and it would please the environmentalist Left base greatly. But there are limits on even Presidential power when it comes to these aggressive actions, as Obama is now learning. As the Speaker points out, more Americans are still asking, “where are the jobs?” than are interested in measuring parts per million of carbon compounds in the air. Is this the dawning of a backlash of common sense?