The administration gets this. They knew that people didn’t want their health care program, either. They simply don’t care.

The serious question is whether the President and his chief of staff will indeed have the political muscle to push a climate bill through after the November elections. A smarter move for the White House might be to just punt and wait for the next Congress, which will be guaranteed to do nothing on climate change, pushing the issue into EPA’s regulatory lap. While letting the EPA control our energy economy through force of regulation is a really bad idea, it would be less suicidal for the next Senate class up for re-election in 2012.

I hope the White House does NOT take my advice.

Despite the pomp of an Oval Office address, nothing is really new here. The fact that the White House is now floating the notion of passing ineffectual, expensive, and unpopular climate change legislation through a lame duck Congress is merely consistent with its previous behavior.

Patrick J. Michaels

Pat Michaels is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute and author of Climate of Extremes: Global Warming Science They Don’t Want You to Know.