Invisible Dust

London | Wednesday 16 January
Pollution level: Moderate

Obama Issues Climate Change Ultimatum to Congress


President Obama’s State of the Union Speech, 2013. Image courtesy of the White House.

During his State of the Union address on Tuesday (February 12) President Obama gave Congress an ultimatum on climate change. If the legislative branch does not draft a plan to slash greenhouse gas emissions, the White House (the executive branch of the government) will do so without them.

“If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” the President stated. “I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”

Although Obama did succeed in his first term in doubling the amount of energy generated from wind and solar power in the USA, Republican opposition in Congress prevented the President’s plan to put a price on carbon emissions from becoming law. This new, more aggressive approach, which bypasses this opposition in the Republican-dominated legislative branch, may be  the USA’s best hope for significant change during Obama’s second and final term.

Obama pointed to the increase in sever weather and natural disasters that the USA has been experiencing in the past few years – including Hurricane Sandy in November, and the recent record-breaking blizzard that buried New England in snow – as evidence that action was urgently required.

The president stressed the importance of energy efficiency and renewable energy. He plans to continue the development of the United States’ wind and solar power options, as well as encourage new research in renewable energy, which he plans to fund using revenue from oil and gas drilled on federal land.  He also plans to increase the use of green fuel in the US military, which is the world’s largest purchasers of petroleum. However, despite his enthusiasm for renewable energy and his conviction that the USA needs to stop its dependency on foreign fossil fuel, Obama is still in favour of drilling for natural gas on domestic territory, which is not a renewable source of energy.

Invisble Dust is in favour of any intiatives that may slow or halt the progress of global warming and the catastrophic climate change we have all been witnessing in the past few years. Such a strong statement from the leader of the United States is encouraging, and we look forward to see what changes will come out of it.


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