Obama reiterates climate change plan
June 29th, 2013
06:01 AM ET
8 years ago

Obama reiterates climate change plan

(CNN) - President Barack Obama continued to push his aggressive climate change plan, urging Americans in his weekly address Saturday to contact their representatives and remind them "there is no contradiction between a sound environment and a strong economy."

"The question is not whether we need to act," he said. "The question is whether we will have the courage to act before it’s too late."

He pointed to present day effects of the changing climate, saying firefighters who brave mammoth wildfires and farmers who lose their crops from droughts know all too well the impact of warming temperatures.

"The cost of these events can be measured in lost lives and livelihoods, lost homes and businesses, and hundreds of billions of dollars in emergency services and disaster relief," he said. "And Americans across the country are already paying the price of inaction in higher food costs, insurance premiums, and the tab for rebuilding."

Obama on Tuesday laid out a series of new steps to combat carbon pollution, including proposals to create new standards on existing carbon-fueled power plants and other executive actions that don't require congressional approval.

He also pledged global leadership on climate change and to redouble U.S. efforts to fight it.

Opponents were quick to attack his sweeping proposals, arguing the new regulations on carbon-fueled power plants–the source of 40% of the country's electricity–will cause a surge in costs and burn holes in Americans' pockets.

But the president said the benefits will far outweigh the costs.

"Those of us in positions of responsibility will need to be less concerned with the judgment of special interests and well-connected donors, and more concerned with the judgment of our children," he said.

- CNN's Ashley Killough contributed to this report.

Filed under: climate change • President Obama
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Rogerd

    This is the prime issue to lead from behind.... Go for it POTUS. We need to adapt the same standards as China and India.

    June 29, 2013 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  2. Gurgyl

    Climate is definitely changing–those that do not believe are the ones stupids and idiots. Because they do not want to take the fact. Look, Phoenix has 118, California town 128. Better learn. This nation needs to be a pioneer to reduce the temperatures with other nations. Or else nature fury you die. True. Unbelievable India temperatures people are migrating to other nations. True. Globe is getting hot, hotter.....

    June 29, 2013 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  3. rla

    WHO CARES! Solv e something important that faces our nation- THE DEBT COMES TO MIND!

    June 29, 2013 08:23 am at 8:23 am |
  4. Dan

    Solar and wind cost up front, but provide long-term savings.
    Do you prefer to pay someone rent every month or do you prefer to own?
    Whether it's office space, farm land, or a home, Americans overwhelmingly prefer to buy once and stop being at the mercy of others.

    If you don't live in a coal or oil state, your states hard earned money is leaving the state and hurting businesses and consumers in your state.

    June 29, 2013 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. Rick McDaniel

    More wasteful spending, that will produce ZERO benefits.

    June 29, 2013 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  6. Guess

    I dont often whole heartedly agree with the pres, but something has gotta give, way way too much power over policy, and always the threat to ppass on costs to the consumer

    June 29, 2013 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  7. Evergreen

    People whine about passing the nations debt onto their kids and grandkids but never give a second thought to leaving them a depleted environment. Debt can be restructed ... polluted air, land and water cannot.

    June 29, 2013 10:00 am at 10:00 am |
  8. HenryMiller

    Well, I actually took Obama's advice and contacted both of my Senators and my Representative—and asked all three of them to do what they can to put a stop to all the Executive Branch abuses of power Obama seems so fond of.

    June 29, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  9. dixie

    please!!! We can't handle anymore of this persons "good intentions" WE ARE BROKE ALREADY!!! Maybe he should have thought about all this before his 100 million plus vacation.

    June 29, 2013 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. nintex

    I am so sick of tea party-minded people with their heads up their rear ends knocking everything President Obama says or does. They are so stupid they can't see that what he proposes is for their own good! Our president is a man of vision for this country and we would be in a much better place, and further along the path to real success, if these nutbags would just shut up and let the intelligent person in the White House do his job.

    June 29, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  11. EdL

    After we take control of climate change what problem/s will we solve next? The homeless? No, I think this would be too difficult, maybe winning our war on drugs? No, also too difficult. Maybe term limits for our leaders in Washington? No. Increase benefits for our congressional leaders? This is possible.

    June 29, 2013 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  12. Bill from GA

    The world is moving, slowly, toward renewable energy.

    The USA can lead in development or we can buy it from China and others.

    Even such common-use products as the microchip were developed with much initial government subsidies. Back when our government was not strangled by divisiveness.

    June 29, 2013 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  13. rs

    WHO CARES! Solv e something important that faces our nation- THE DEBT COMES TO MIND!
    Takes two to tango. Maybe once the Republicans can get out of Reverse.....

    June 29, 2013 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  14. Steve, New York City

    Better late than never, but hopefully not too late. Record temperatures out west, above 90 degrees in parts of Alaska – quite scary.
    Unfortunately, not sure what difference it will make - the USA, China, India and others pollute like crazy, Indonesia, Brazil, others keep chopping down forests. We will all suffer from the long-term, stupid decisions of global governments and businesses.

    June 29, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  15. Donkey Party

    Hello right-wing village idiots, good to see you spewing your regular brand of extreme ignorance on a topic you know absolutely nothing about. What pathetic, miserable, senseless lives you lead, when all you do is show your stupidity, hate, and racism on a daily basis.

    June 29, 2013 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. onlyfacts

    Electricity costs will surge, burning holes in Americans pockets? Shouldn't we be angry with the greedy coal companies who's 40 billion profit might drop to 35 billion? These companies are allowed to pollute. You on the other hand have to pay a fine and fix the problem if you don't have a muffler on your car! Wake up right wingers! These corporations and YOUR politicians have you brainwashed. Research some facts for once!

    June 29, 2013 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  17. ThinkAgain

    @rla: "WHO CARES! Solv e something important that faces our nation- THE DEBT COMES TO MIND!"

    Still haven't accepted that President Obama can tackle more than one thing at a time, eh? You must miss the days of GW Bush not being able to handle watching TV while eating a pretzel without choking ...

    June 29, 2013 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  18. ge

    the way the worlds going world war three will clean up climate change .

    June 29, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    @dixie: "please!!! We can't handle anymore of this persons "good intentions" WE ARE BROKE ALREADY!!! Maybe he should have thought about all this before his 100 million plus vacation."

    We're broke ... It all started with GW Bush, who came into office with a budget surplus – then he started two wars, cuts taxes and didn't fund Medicare Part D.

    Why? Because he wanted to create a debt big enough to use as an excuse to eliminate social spending and justify privatizing as much of the government responsibilities as possible.

    And exactly who did this benefit? Let's look at what's happened to incomes in this country for the last several years:

    – Income inequality has soared to the highest levels since the Great Depression. The top 1 percent of earners taking 93 percent of the income gains in the first full year of the recovery.

    BTW, the U.S. ranks closer to China, Serbia and Rwanda than any other country in the developed world when it comes to income inequality. If you think this isn't a problem, you are incredibly naive.

    June 29, 2013 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  20. nintex

    And stop saying the president is on a hundred-million dollar vacation. That statement makes you conservatives sound so stupid. President Obama is doing what every other president does – he's visiting the leaders of other countries to discuss world matters – something way too hard for simple minds to comprehend. Oh, and you left out "union toady" and "lazy" in your rant about the president being corrupt, inept, and incompetent. Didn't you used to have a different name?

    June 29, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  21. Andrew

    Why not just let the people of California sweat to death?
    Aren't we always talking about being leaders and not followers?
    Oh that's right, Obama is in the White House. Let's wait until a republican is in the WH.

    June 29, 2013 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  22. simplyput

    The record heat for the Southwestern areas suffering from the heat wave this week is 130 degrees a little over one hundred years ago. Wind and solar is fine until another climate change. We are broke, people, and this pres couldn't lead his way out of a paper bag, much less the world.

    June 29, 2013 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  23. don in albuquerque

    There are and will be tough questions ahead with even tougher answers. We continue to pump greenhouse gas into the air, we continue to dump oil into our oceans, and yet when we are slapped in the face by good ole mother nature-we screech that it is not true. People like Stuffit, scream insanely about socialism, and ignore the fact that we may well be facing a disaster of Biblical proportions. These same people ignore the fact that our ecology is a closed system...there has been no new air or water created since the beginning of time, it has been renewed by the same ecological system that we are doing our dead-level best to destroy. So I guess we can do nothing but let the uneducated rant and rave, and when the system is gone it is gone. And you grandchildren, maybe as soon as your children will curse the fact that you were ever born.

    June 29, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  24. Ron L

    Some of us NEED to just look at climate change logically. The EARTH is a CLOSED system. The water that is here today has been the same amount in the last 10,000 plus years. Now realizing it is a closed loop, it can only handle a certain amount of waste before the systems starts to overload. The EARTH currently has over 7 BILLION humans on it producing waste everyday. China and India are on a growth curve with more and more of it's people becoming middle class. With each person that makes that advancement they increase the amount of waste they produce. buying cars etc. Now at some point the natural balance of this CLOSED SYSTEM is going to be knocked off balance. That is what we are seeing now, the glaciers and mountain tops are starting to melt. This water that was once on the top of mountains is now in the sea and ocean. This in turn is causing more and more flooding to occur, which with the slightly higher temperatures causes more evaporation (increased surface area covered by water) leading to more violent storms when cooler air hits the heavier warm air. If you chose to ignore it that is your right, BUT IT IS HAPPENING!! And if we don't attempt to at least slow it down, get ready for some of the most INTENSE weather ever recorded by man.

    June 29, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  25. Ron L

    One other thing. All of those who are complaining the country is broke. They are mistaken, yes we have a large debt, but we also have a Congress that is refusing to do MANY of the things that use to strengthen the country. THERE IS NO EXCUSE there has not been a significant INFRASTRUCTURE bill passed in the last 3 years other than POLITICS. HISTORICALLY ever $1.00 spent on infrastructure there has been a $2.00 to $3.00 return!!! But now (in my opinion) politics has become more important than results. Some of the Republicans honestly believe that if they are difficult with our current or any future Democratic President and don't pass the bills that normally help spur growth the American public will eventually vote in a Republican President. Frankly, I don't think this will work, but until they decide to give up this tactic the economy is going to grow at a slow pace making the debt last longer and potentially grow slightly.

    June 29, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
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