About 2.7 million people now make a living from the clean energy economy, and that number is constantly growing. These people are developing clean energy projects, crafting more energy-efficient appliances, constructing green buildings and retrofitting existing buildings, and more -- saving consumers money and driving down the carbon pollution that is fueling climate change.
Obama has used his pen-and-phone strategy to deal with issues like immigration, gun control, and health care. The approach has often led to legal battles. The latest move to end up in court concerns regulations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, what has been billed as the centerpiece of Obama's plan to combat climate change.
While Washington state lawmakers' bold pragmatism promises to help their environment and their economy, the new Congress in Washington, D.C., seems hell-bent on pushing legislation that will strip away our environmental protections, continue to ignore the threats of climate change and keep us addicted to dirty fossil fuels.
Consider this: The federal government could, without any new laws, significantly restrict both the supply of, and demand for, fossil fuels. Only the state has the power to euthanize the fossil fuel industry. If the climate movement is serious about controlling Big Carbon it needs to get serious about Big Government.
The EPA continued to use its extensive powers under the Clean Air Act and announced a new, tighter regulation on ozone pollution. As one might expect, these rules are being described by some in the new Republican Congress as anti-business, job-killing regulation. They are in fact pro-business and job-creating rules.
The important lesson from all of this is that leaders in Washington shouldn't start believing their own press releases. Go ahead and claim voters endorsed everything you stand for, but don't start acting like it's true. The American people did not suddenly decide they don't care about clean air, clean water, and a healthy climate.
Environmental laws are enacted to protect public health, to provide clean air and water, to save endangered wildlife, and to protect our public lands for future generations. But these laws mean little if regulations based on them are not enforced or, in this case, are never created in the first place.