Obama Unveils Climate Policies, Skips Congress

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WASHINGTON -- President Obama unveiled unprecedented federal policies to address climate change Tuesday -- policies critics fear will be nails in the coffin for some jobs.

There's no question extreme weather is plaguing the country yet again this year. But while there's disagreement among scientists about what's causing it, Obama said he has no patience for those who deny human activity is affecting the climate.

He said the United States has a "moral obligation" to address it.

"As a president, as a father, and as an American I am here to say we need to act," he said Tuesday, during a speech announcing his proposals.

What impact will the new regulations have on your energy costs? Nick Loris, with the Heritage Foundation, explains more, on CBN Newswatch, June 25.

He's directing his administration to launch the first-ever federal regulations on heat-trapping gases.The effort aims to "put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants and complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants," he said.

Obama said the new regulations will cause companies to innovate, creating new industries and jobs. But some Republicans accuse the administration of "systematically trying to eliminate some fossil fuels," especially coal.

"He is personally responsible for the loss of thousands of jobs. He obviously does not have much interest in states like Kentucky, Tennessee, and Wyoming, where the coal industry is so vitally important and we are losing jobs dramatically." Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., said in response to the president's plans.

Other parts of the plan include streamlining approval for clean energy projects and fortifying the nation's infrastructure to better weather powerful storms.

And while the president acknowledges oil must be part of the nation's energy portfolio, he offered a grim outlook for the future of the Keystone Pipeline -- the project that would carry crude oil from Canada to refineries along the Gulf. That project is currently under review by the State Department.

"The net effect of the pipeline's impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward," he said.

The regulations announced by the president will be implemented through his agencies, leaving Congress out of the loop.

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Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.