Do you support Obama’s new actions to fight climate change?

“In the strongest action ever taken in the United States to combat climate change, President Obama will unveil on Monday a set of environmental regulations devised to sharply cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions from the nation’s power plants and ultimately transform America’s electricity industry,” reports the New York Times.

The rules are the final, tougher versions of proposed regulations that the Environmental Protection Agency announced in 2012 and 2014. If they withstand the expected legal challenges, the regulations will set in motion sweeping policy changes that could shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants, freeze construction of new coal plants and create a boom in the production of wind and solar power and other renewable energy sources.

As the president came to see the fight against climate change as central to his legacy, as important as the Affordable Care Act, he moved to strengthen the energy proposals, advisers said. The health law became the dominant political issue of the 2010 congressional elections and faced dozens of legislative assaults before surviving two Supreme Court challenges largely intact.

Today’s Question: Do you support Obama’s new actions to fight climate change?

  • Skyline Tony

    Will there be a cd?Where can I pick one up?

  • Sue de Nim

    Yes, but it’s probably too little, too late.

  • Gary F
    • Gordon near Two Harbors

      Europe is a big place. There is a huge disparity between the economic health of the various countries. Germany and the Scandinavian countries are in better shape than the US–especially when you factor in our debt/deficits. The total cost of doing nothing to combat climate change will likely far outstrip any investment costs we “saddle” ourselves with today. One of the big problems with current economic theory is that it does not factor in the cost of environmental damage for future generations.

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    I’m glad the President is taking the bull by the horns and pressing the issue. Paying a few more cents per kilowatt/hour for renewables, and phasing out fossil fuels are a small price to pay when compared to the economic and environmental damage that the teaming masses in future generations will have to face if greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked.

  • PaulJ

    Building cleaner fossil fuel plants doesn’t seem as helpful, in preventing climate change, as would building modern nuclear plants.

  • MrE85

    Sure. As the editorial in the Duluth News Tribune pointed out, Minnesota was already well along this path. Follow our lead, America.

  • KTN

    Sure. With the Republicans and their willful ignorance of denying climate change even exists, let alone poses a problem – its good to have a President putting forth a policy agenda that will make a difference.

  • Scott


  • Jim G

    Yes. Electricity generation using coal or other fossil fuels produces CO2, a greenhouse gas. It only makes sense to reduce its production. In addition, we will need check the nitrous oxide (300x worse than CO2) emissions from our creeks and rivers in the Corn Belt, the sooner the better.

  • Rich in Duluth

    Somehow, preserving our environment must become more important than unfettered economic expansion.

  • lindblomeagles

    100%. We have to start somewhere. Now I agree, we should go after oil (like shutting down the drilling off the coast of Alaska) much, much, harder than coal. But, we can’t do nothing, and at least wind and solar power are already being used to produce electricity at several farms throughout Minnesota and the United States.

  • whitedoggie44

    13% of electrical consumption in the US is now produced by renewable energy, which means we have a long way to go to replace oil, natural gas and coal. Germany is already about 7-10 years ahead of the US and the cost of energy in Germany is now 35 cents per KWH vs 12 cents in the US, or about triple the cost. Energy cost has now become a major election issue in Germany as it reduces economic expansion and consumer spending. Clearly no easy answers unless technology can provide long term solutions.

    • Gordon near Two Harbors

      Many things that are worthwhile are neither cheap nor easy. Can the economy and population expand forever? Nope. Efficiency and a concerted effort to retain the ecological integrity of our planet are ultimately the only things that will provide any hope for providing a prosperous future for humanity.

      • David P.

        I agree with you 95%. I do think the economy can continue to expand, just not at the cost of the environment. It’s not one or the other. We can grow the economy by growing the carbon free energy sector and growing smarter.

  • Kyle MacDonald Samejima

    Absolutely. And I will do my part to press Obama, Governor Dayton and other leaders to stop fracking, tar sands operations and the Keystone pipeline. And even when these issues seem overwhelming or hopeless, our actions large and small have a ripple effect.

  • watching

    Yes. Staying the current course and maintaining a false sense of security is absolutely and truthfully ridiculous. If we try to change things and it doesn’t work, at least we tried. If we do nothing, we know what will certainly happen; that is scary.

  • BruceWMorlan

    No, this EPA-based plan is mostly going to energize the rent-seekers who rely on their political power to access and gain advantages and favors from our politicians. I much much prefer the Citizens’ Climate Lobby position, which is for a revenue-neutral, market based carbon tee (tax). It is revenue neutral, satisfying the Republican’s pledge to not grow the public sector; it is market based because it just adds reasonably to the cost of fossil fuels (by charging for those externalities like CO2); and it lets the market find the best answers (a position wildly favorable with conservatives); it creates more jobs than it costs; and it does not add to the command-and-control bureaucracy that libertarians find so egregious. In addition to these political positives, the economic models show that the carbon-fee approach is more effective than the EPA’s plan, reducing the CO2 by almost twice as much in the next 20 years. It is a plan I can explain, and one that I have lobbied for in Washington and here in Minnesota.

    • John Dilligaf

      Please do explain it, including:

      Who pays the carbon tax?
      How is it revenue neutral?
      Who receives credits?
      Who enforces it?
      How does it not grow government?
      How do you create a market for something that currently has no recognized intrinsic value?
      How does it apply to individuals? or to small businesses?

      • BruceWMorlan

        Okay, here’s my take on the plan, I’ve marked the Qs and As. My answers are my paraphrasing of information I have been given through Citizens’ Climate Lobby (

        Q: Who pays the carbon tax?
        A: The fossil fuel sources (mines, wells, importers). A tariff like payment at the border adjusts imports to keep them from having an unfair advantage.

        Q: How is it revenue neutral?
        A: All but a small percentage (0.3-0.5%) is paid out as a dividend to all citizens (one share each, two half-shares per family for children under 18). This is crucial, a similar plan failed in Australia in part because the usual suspects lined up to skim a large percentage off the top.

        Q: Who receives credits?
        A: No one, this is NOT an excuse to create winners and losers in the carbon credit sense.

        Q: Who enforces it?
        A: IRS or SSA send out the dividend checks, pricing is set and assessed by agencies who already monitor fossil fuel production, and all they do is apply the pre-computed fees, which are based on the impact the fossil fuel has on greenhouse gases. Very simple calculations.

        Q: How does it not grow government?
        A: Per the Republican’s pledge, it does not increase the government’s portion of the economy, since only that tiny administrative fee is not given back. A read of the “No new taxes” pledge reveals that it does not actually use the phrase “no new taxes”. The actual dynamics are that the poor get slightly more than they need to offset the higher prices they will see on goods that use fossil fuels, the rich will see that their dividend does not cover their increased costs.

        Q: How do you create a market for something that currently has no recognized intrinsic value?
        A: Good question. The market creates itself once we stop trying to pick the winner using subsidies (and stop subsidizing fossil fuels).

        Q: How does it apply to individuals? or to small businesses?
        A: Individuals and small businesses see a gradually increasing cost of using fossil fuels, but they are not invovled in the day-to-day paperwork overhead of so called command-and-control methods like the EPA uses.

        Thanks for the great questions! Come out to a local CCL meeting to learn more.

    • Yanotha Twangai

      Yes, that would probably be better than Obama’s initiative. The only trouble with that idea is that Congress would have to enact it, and they’re not going to do any such thing, since the GOP has dedicated itself to denying Obama any kind of success, even if it would be good for the country, and even if it’s entirely congruent with their own ideology. Since Congress won’t act on this, EPA regulation is the only recourse.

      • BruceWMorlan

        Nope, but the Republicans do need as many activist, pro-science conservatives (mostly the fiscal conservatives, since we are all social liberals here) to come out and help us push our representatives, so find your local chapter ( and help turn the MNGOP back into the party of science. We are soooo close, all we need to do is regain the global warming issue, and now is the right time. Conveniently we have this issue and an agenda that needs action, so we won’t just be ranting and chanting in front of cameras. Cheers, and may the science be with you.

        • Gordon near Two Harbors

          The Bible-bangers and other conservative radicals that run the GOP won’t go for it.

          • BruceWMorlan

            I and other like-minded conservatives are hoping to marginalize the “Bible bangers”. It would be nice to have some reinforcements and some support.

          • Yanotha Twangai

            Good luck with that. What bothers me even more than the “Bible bangers,” though, and the reason I switched to voting Democratic in the ’90s, is the plutocrats in the GOP. When the “Bible bangers” finally realize that the radical free market ideology advocated by the business elites that run the GOP is contrary to the teachings of Jesus and the Prophets, they’ll drop out of the coalition. Marginalize them if you wish, but that will be the end of the GOP as we know it (and good riddance).

          • BruceWMorlan

            The fact that you view GOP leadership as plutocrats is much more a function of Madison avenue marketing of a political message than it is fact-based.

          • Yanotha Twangai

            Not so. It fits with the evidence.

  • Mark Countryman


  • Martha

    Obama and his crew have done so much damage to our economy, its hard to see he can do worse with pushing for more unconstituional authority to unelected EPA officials.
    Recall Obama’s campaign pledge of 2008: “Under my authority, electricity rates will necessarily SKY ROCKET.” Progressives tried the carbon tax to let brokers make $$ off of the paper trade which did not lower any energy use.
    When you look at the top investors of railway service for oil, you can see why the Keystone Pipeline has been held back..its the same liberal backers (Soros and Berskshire who have the biggest share in the railways from the Dakotas. and the most to lose if a pipeline was completed.
    The EPA regs will put our country at risk for rolling blackouts, as we saw in CA years back.
    The EPA regulates existing coal-fired power plants
    under section 112 of the Clean Air Act with the Mercury Air and Toxics
    Standards (MATS). Combined with the Cross State Air Pollution Rule,
    these two massive regulations have forced the retirement or planned
    retirement of 72 gigawatts of electrical generating capacity, enough to
    power nearly 45 million homes.
    Despite the EPA’s best efforts to skirt around this issue, Section
    111(d) of the Clean Air Act explicitly prohibits the EPA from regulating
    the same source and thus also precludes the Clean Power Plan.
    The Supreme Court recently delivered a setback to the EPA’s MATS to
    regulate emissions from coal and oil-fired power plants. The Clean Air
    Act directs the EPA to reduce air pollutants if the agency deems the
    regulation “appropriate and necessary.” The Court ruled that the agency
    failed to consider costs in their determination.
    The Supreme Court earlier handed a victory to Americans concerned with
    unelected bureaucrats driving up energy costs by overturning a costly
    environmental regulation that lacks any meaningful direct environmental

    • Gordon near Two Harbors

      Obama has damaged the economy? Remember in 2008, when he took office, we were in the worst economic mess since the Great Depression? How some memories conveniently fade…
      So, what is your plan to phase out greenhouse gas emissions? Perhaps, you are part of that fading, but vocal minority that thinks they are not a problem?

    • BruceWMorlan

      The use of cap-and-trade was a poorly designed attempt to use market forces, one that was completely corrupted by the feeding at the trough that ensued, as special interests “bid” and “traded” while the people just got to pay for it all. Not a good strategy.

    • Gordon near Two Harbors

      Who is qualified to determine what damages the environment: scientists or politicians? Just like asking who should deal with your health problems. Politicians or medical doctors?

  • Hunter

    Hate to agree with Martha’s comment however, according to our Constitution, only Congress__ can make laws. When the EPA uses their cloak of new regulations they are effectively bypassing Congress. Regardless of whether we agree with stricter regulations or not, this is exactly how Ceasar made Rome’s Senate just a figurehead puppet and the eventual fall of Rome. Their Senate lost all power to keep things in check. They lost their moral compass. And so has Minnesota because_ here we are talking about EPA and yet, we ignore the Planned Parenthood expose of selling baby them fetus or tissues but the facts remain_ at conception, there is unique Human DNA present. The definition of “fetus” is a human, a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth. Even Hillary won’t discuss this horrific Planned Parenthood but she will discuss EPA regs as great as it is their idea of protecting the underdog, the weak, the poor. Ok…almost 8 years of Progressive Presidency we have these facts_ the poor are poorer, blacks are worse off with higher unemployment, liberal run major cities ( Baltimore, Chicago and New York ) now have the largest rise in shootings and killings and most are black perps against black victims. New York liberals should care about EPA cleanliness standards yet their Progressive mayor allows people to sleep on the streets, to urinate and defecate on the sidewalks, to harass subway riders and they demonize all police and ignore events where police are shot in the face. Those three cities alone saw 11 killings this past week and over 50 shootings and they have the toughest restrictive gun laws. How odd?

    Minnesotans should be asking the real questions that effect us immediately; e.g., why did our Senators, Franken and Amy refuse to vote for Kate’s Law? A simple law designed to help protect Americans. It has nothing to do with immigration reform. Yet, they refuse to vote for it because it goes against their narrative. Or is it simply because even NPR and CNN won’t cover that story so most MN voters have no clue to call their Senators? I think so.
    EPA regs are simply done illegally and it will hurt the middle class. If in doubt, look at California dumping fresh water into the ocean to save some freeking tiny smelt while now their aquifers are at record lows and will be for some time, effecting agriculture-our food prices and new job growth..ahh, but lets try to serve the underdog or smelt vs. our own people? Jeeesh_ come on MPR- ask the hard questions on this forum and maybe your listening rates will improve. Not all MN listeners are far left progressives. You might want to check the polls showing 83% are against late term abortions and 90% of teachers actually endorse school choice while their unions say NO way…and even teachers can describe the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist. But DNC chairman Wasserman couldn’t answer that question on MSNBC! ouch!

    • Gordon near Two Harbors

      Very long diatribe, but you should stay on topic. You fail to understand our system of government. Do you think Congress could pass the tens of thousands of laws regulating the various aspects of our society? The EPA has the legal authority to regulate pollutants. Pretty simple.

  • Arbles

    so pleased to see Mr Obama”s lead on global warming, a great initiative in the run up to the Paris COP21 agreements. American’s you are so lucky having Mr Obama.