Obama’s Climate Change Plans: $100 Billion Price Tag

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A presidential task force has unveiled new recommendations for “climate preparedness and resilience” that could cost the federal government more than $100 billion to enact. The report, released Monday, covers a host of climate change issues such as protecting drinking water, shoring up coastlines against a rising sea level, and other measures meant to get the country prepared for a drastic change in climate.

And while Republicans will undoubtedly make a show of opposing these actions, many legal experts say there is little that can be done to stop them. One of their only options would be to shut down the federal government, a strategy the GOP knows will be looked upon unfavorably by the voters. The White House seems acutely aware of their free reign in this area. Adviser John Podesta told reporters on Monday, “I don’t believe they can stop us.”

Of course, the task force report is only one part of Obama’s climate change agenda. The president made a deal with China last week that will see the United States cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025, a goal that will require extraordinary restrictions on power plant pollution. States that have already suffered under Obama’s unprecedented environmental regulations are understandably concerned about what’s coming next.

Mitch McConnell, poised to become Senate Majority Leader in January, spoke out vehemently against EPA regulations this weekend. “They’ve been on a rampage all across the country. And I think coal is the most conspicuous example, but it’s happening in a lot of other areas and I think you’re going to see bipartisan support for trying to rein them in.”

McConnell may get some bipartisan support, but it seems clear that Obama is unwilling to bend. He has already threatened to veto congressional approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline, a move that could put him at odds with Congress even before power officially goes to the Republicans.

Meanwhile, the third-most powerful Republican in the country – Senator John Thune of South Dakota – seems to be softening his stance when it comes to the issue of climate change. Thune said on Fox News Sunday that there “are a number of factors that contribute to [climate change], including human activity. The question is, what are we going to do about it and at what cost?”

However, Thune and his fellow GOPers seem committed to opposing the emission-cutting regulations proposed by Obama’s EPA. And, honestly, the problem with the climate change debate isn’t in the acknowledgement of the problem. It’s in the solutions. Obama and the Democrats are far too willing to sacrifice America’s economic future on the altar of global warming. There is plenty of room in this issue for both sides to come together. But when Obama’s proposed policies involve radical plans that have a crippling effect on industry, Republicans can’t afford to stand by and watch it happen.