White House: Major costs to delaying climate change policy
July 29th, 2014
06:00 AM ET
9 years ago

White House: Major costs to delaying climate change policy

Washington (CNN) – If lawmakers delay taking action now on climate change it could cost taxpayers exponentially more in the future to deal with the effects of a warming planet, the White House is warning Tuesday.

A report from President Barack Obama's administration says the costs of mitigating carbon emissions will rise 40% per decade unless something is done now to stem the outpouring of pollutants scientists say are causing global warning.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker'][twitter-follow screen_name='KevinLiptakCNN']

"What this report makes clear is first of all, we know way more than enough to justify acting today," said Jason Furman, the chair of Obama's Council of Economic Advisers. "Delaying action will increase the cost."

The report claims new climate policy can be regarded as "insurance" against the severe effects of a warming planet, like rising sea levels and increased land temperatures.

Last month Obama's Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a plan that would drastically reduce carbon emissions from coal fired power plants, a measure fiercely opposed by both Republican and some Democratic lawmakers from coal-producing states. Public hearings on those new rules begin around the country this week.

The President has also increasingly sought to highlight the potential – and, in some cases, already realized – effects of climate change on communities, launching new programs to help towns and cities prepare for stronger storms and changing landscapes.

Thus far he's achieved his climate agenda through executive actions, part of a larger White House strategy of going around Congress on issues where legislative action appears unlikely.

On Tuesday the Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, will unveil new rules governing the transmission of methane, which officials say accounts for 9% of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Filed under: climate change • President Obama • White House
soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. truindep

    with the mess this country is in , I dont think climate change is on the list of priorities

    July 29, 2014 09:41 am at 9:41 am |
  2. Really???

    Constitutional lawbreaker is more like it. Obama's level of incompetence is only matched by his narcissism.

    July 29, 2014 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  3. Rudy NYC


    Right-thinking people understand that man-made climate change is B.S. That's why Obama needs to use executive actions to propel his agenda. Get this guy out of office now...he's killing this country.
    Actually, the right wing was pretty much indifferent on climate change until landmark Citizen's United case allowed corporations to donate unlimited funds. The oil and coal industries do not like to talk about climate change because it means their products will viewed negatively, which hurt sales over the long term.

    The right would prefer to accept the donations and deny the very existence of science that they acknowledged as little as a decade ago. Pumping tons and tons of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere cannot be a good thing. Everything in nature is balanced. Everything has an opposite, like the "Yin Yang" idea from the Chinese.

    There is no opposite when it comes to pumping tons of combustion gases into our atmosphere. There is nothing in nature to remove it, just as there is nothing in nature to remove oil spills. Over time, the effect will be detrimental to our planet. But, who cares about that now? The Koch brothers don't care because that will be a future someone else's problem.

    July 29, 2014 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  4. Lizzie

    King wrote: he said how green and cool the country felt even on the hottest of days.
    -- yes it's nice and cool on the hottest days 81 F, solar panels everywhere, if you leave the city behind and drive out to the countryside. It's green because they get more rain . the German gov. promoted solar panels and paid 75% of the cost and promised everyone a great return on their investments paid for by the electric companies, Now, no more, no more substitutes, no more money from the government, no more big returns from the electric companies. Wind turbines are great, but the GREEN Party is against them, because they are noisy, they don't fit into the country side. Americans coming to Germany love it, clean, nice, cool, great country to visit, Germans think the same thing of America, a nice place to visit but would not want to live there.

    July 29, 2014 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  5. rla

    Right we stop sending good money after bad for prediction done by computer and led by a man who has the background of a NAT and the arrogance of a dictator

    July 29, 2014 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Silence DoGood

    The GOP will never figure out the global warming /air pollution issues as long as their two greatest benefactors are Koch Petrochemical and big coal. It probably doesn't hurt that the GOP has joined the Fundamentalists and decided Science isn't for them either.
    Conservatives denying science, teaching Creationism, putting guns in schools, re-writing history. We should have an awesome (not) generation of scientists and engineers coming up! (TP homeschool note: that's hyperbole) Maybe we can beg the Japanese to send some robots to help fix our mud huts.

    July 29, 2014 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  7. Retired Navy and Patriot

    Woke up in Southern Maryland today and it was 61deg. Never seen that in late July. God help us.

    July 29, 2014 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  8. smith

    No matter what we do we can cannot stop the aging or changes to our planet. This more making policy with their feelings instead of using logic.

    July 29, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  9. Silence DoGood

    I experience climate change when i roll my windows down in my truck all the time ? The wind blows and it gets cooler it is the real deal ?
    Thanks for the complete synopsis of the conservative science knowledge base on the subject.
    Is it any wonder the civilized countries shake their head at us?

    July 29, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  10. Silence DoGood

    The GOP will never figure out the global warming /air pollution issues as long as their two greatest benefactors are Koch Petrochemical and big coal. It probably doesn't hurt that the GOP has joined the Fundamentalists and decided Science isn't for them either.
    Less science, revised history, no critical thinking – the next generation of engineers is in trouble – thanks GOP.

    July 29, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  11. carlos

    Half of the American public believes that the earth is 6000 years old. And we wonder what happened to American exeptionalism?

    July 29, 2014 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. J Anthony

    Love the ignorance of fools who think that over a century of heavy industry, exploding population and man-made pollution has done nothing to affect our air, water, and land. To what degree the weather is influenced is hard to gauge, but better to take precautions and be wrong, than ignore it and be wrong. We need to start looking ahead to alternative forms of energy regardless.

    July 29, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  13. smith1

    most repos can't wrap their minds around climate change. That would infer we as a people bare some responsibility. And they can't handle that. It always has to be someone else who is at fault. China pollutes no us make them change first. I have heard this kind of thinking over and over. They blame the poor for being poor and the president for just about everything. Can not imagin how we have so many really dumb people .

    July 29, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |

    If they want to make regulations more stringent for emissions that's fine but we don't need any more exponential or irrational costs. Obama needs to figure out a way to do it without his SOP of throwing massive amounts of money at something. Its ridiculous. Whether you believe or don't believe in climate change the government is not a viable solution to fix it unless we want to be displaced as an economic power. You won't see Russia or China doing it.

    July 29, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
1 2