Obama Will Use Nixon-Era Law to Fight Climate Change

In order to combat a stubborn Republican controlled House of Representatives, Obama is taking the future of climate control into his own hands. He plans to extend the National Environmental Policy Act, enacted by Richard Nixon in 1970. The idea is to create stricter guidelines in how projects are examined when assessing their impact on the environment. Higher standards are to be set for potential consequences of a project, looking at climate change, effects on water levels, soil pollution, and more.

The announcement has faced immediate criticism from lobbyists that represent of some of the biggest energy companies, such as Exxon and Southern Co., and they argue that the White House’s green initiative will only reduce project growth. Many companies are now worried about the fate of their projects. Issues such as “lawsuits or administrative delays” could slowly strangle a project until it dies. Others are pushing for alternative methods in helping the environment that could also impact the energy industry. Currently, there is a senator pushing for a clean-energy research fund, with the large oil and gas producers picking up the tab.

I am actually worried about how the White House administration may affect the energy industry. I understand the need to discover new alternative energy sources, but I also believe that the agencies overseeing these new guideline could take the restrictions too far. I hope that the steps are taken slowly, as we aren’t going to find an amazing new energy source overnight, but I also am glad that Obama is taking an affirmative stance against Republicans, who seem to be absolutely against any kind of green initiative.

Personally, I find it funny how Nixon, a Republican for his time, was the one who pushed for more government control and a green initiative, while his party lives on and denounces any similar idea.


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