Talking about climate change during an election is a dangerous proposition. Considering the fervor it stirs on both sides of the aisle, the issue has quickly become a so-called “third rail” of politics. No one, not even President Obama, was willing to touch it last year.
For ardent progressives and supporters of radical climate change legislation, the president’s silence on the issue was infuriating– that is until now. In his inaugural address on Monday, President Obama moved climate change to the front of his second term policy goals and alluded to a willingness to use executive powers in order to get results.
“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Obama said.
His rallying call will surely energize a part of his base that has become disillusioned with Washington’s sluggish response to environmental protection. However, Obama’s executive powers will only take him so far. Last year at The Opportunity Debate, Colorado Congresswoman Diana DeGette discussed a possible strategy for tackling climate change legislation during the 113th session of Congress.