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Are executive orders Obama’s best option to influence Environmental Policy?

Are we throwing away opportunities to make an impact on environmental issues?
Are we throwing away opportunities to make an impact on environmental issues?
Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

As a third of the country gets sucked into the polar vortex, and the word on the street is that it’s now officially been changed to global cooling instead of global warming, Joe the Plumber is left wondering what the heck is going on with the climate. At the same time, Obama’s climate policy has seemingly melted away, or been frozen in the past; whichever climate theory is the flavor of the month.

In a speech on June 25th, 2013, Obama made the following statement, “Our founders believed...we are elected not just to serve as custodians of the present but as caretakers of the future. They charged us to make decisions with an eye on a larger horizon than the arc of our own political careers."

While to some this quote may wreak of hypocrisy, especially the part about putting politics aside for the greater good, it does something else; it basically defines what Obama considers success. Since the beginning, he has made it clear his desire was to make fundamental changes in the way America does business.

Anyone who has a pulse and is remotely interested in their own well-being realizes that our current political climate is fairly polarized; or to put it kindly, unfriendly. With the House controlled by Republicans, and the Senate Democrats, it’s unlikely that any real sweeping policy is coming down the not-so-Keystone pipeline.

On top of that, 2014 is a key election year in Congress, Obama is dealing with and will have to keep dealing with the Obama Care fallout, and even leaders in his own party are starting to inch away from the train wreck they fear may be coming.

Just because it may be incredibly difficult for Obama to pass any environmental-related policy doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t the correct thing to do. Obama is obviously under pressure from environmental groups that supported him; whose money he graciously accepted without a second thought promising fertile lands of Unicorns once his investments in companies like Solyndra paid off.

Unfortunately for the Unicorns, who are now homeless, Solyndra and most of the other green technology companies who received millions and millions of dollars in the bailout were an utter failure. An article in the Washington Times basically states what everyone fears is coming: Obama will resort to executive orders to make any real changes as this gridlock Congress is unlikely to change, at least in his favor, in the 2014 elections.

As things like Amazon deforestation spike in countries like Brazil, a country which houses the majority of the Amazon (about 60% of it), there are real issues that we could attempt to tackle with regards to climate change. The fear on the right, and perhaps even closer to the center, is that Obama will attempt to appease his far left environmental group with executive orders related to climate change knowing that the next Republican president will simply reverse the order.

While this is all speculation at this point, if it does happen, it will be tough to defend it as a move that is in the best interest of the country without a political agenda.

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