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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Aug 11, 2013 9:48 AM Flag

    In his second term, Obama becomes bolder on the environment

    In his second term, Obama becomes bolder on the environment

    By Juliet Eilperin, Published: August 10

    President Obama’s environmental policies are likely to play a prominent role in defining his second term, even as the budget, immigration and health care still dominate the current political debate.

    When Gina McCarthy first met with Obama in the Oval Office on Jan. 10 to discuss the prospect of heading the Environmental Protection Agency, she recalled, “the first words out of his mouth was the need for EPA to focus on climate.”

    “He sees this as a necessary part of his legacy,” she said in a recent interview.

    Cutting carbon emissions and preparing for the impacts of climate change are the biggest environmental policies the president is pursuing, but they are not the only ones. His deputies are laying the groundwork to manage public lands across broad regions, drawing on high-tech mapping to balance energy interests against conservation needs. They also are preparing to weigh in on a controversial mining proposal in Alaska.

    In the administration’s first term, it framed climate initiatives as ways to promote energy independence or cut consumer costs. It also made modest concessions to business interests — such as rejecting a controversial smog rule, which would have affected a broad swath of industries, and delaying other regulations.

    Agency heads were given very different guideposts for the second term as Obama deputized a new team of Cabinet members to enact a series of rules and policies aimed at tackling global warming.

    In his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, Obama has a policy manager who has written and contributed to several pieces on climate change as a senior fellow at the liberal Center for American Progress think tank in 2006 and 2007. He is a sharp contrast to former Obama chiefs of staff William Daley and Rahm Emanuel, who both privately saw global warming as a political liability for the president.

    The shift has alarmed some industry officials, a

 
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