Carol Browner, Obama's former Climate Czar, shared her insights on how climate legislation failed in Congress in 2010, what to expect from
Carol Browner, Obama's former Climate Czar, shared her insights on how climate legislation failed in Congress in 2010, what to expect from Obama's second term, and why it's so hard to get people serious about climate change.
by Ankit Jain - Apr 26, 2013 3:03 am CDT
Former Climate Czar Carol Browner was handpicked by President Obama to serve as director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy and served as the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for eight years, longer than anyone else who has held the position. She is now a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress and an environmental consultant. Before taking part in the Institute of Politics’ panel discussion on climate change this Tuesday, Browner sat down with the Maroon and shared her insights on how climate legislation failed in Congress in 2010, what to expect from Obama’s second term, and why it’s so hard to get people serious about climate change.
Chicago Maroon: What would you say is the main reason that the 2010 cap-and-trade bill, the last major attempt at climate change legislation, did not pass the Senate?
Carol Browner: One of the primary reasons they never even got to a debate is that they ran out of time. They ran out of time because there was eight weeks that Max Baucus and [Chuck] Grassley spent trying to get an agreement on health care. Ted Kennedy died; I mean, a lot of things happened. Having said that, there were some pretty significant disagreements in the Senate, and we never really got the chance to see if we could bridge those disagreements. And they existed between Democrats and Republicans—we did have some Republican support, but they also existed among Democrats themselves.
CM: President Obama talked in grand terms during his inaugural address about dealing with climate change. What do you expect him to do in his second term?