Tom Borelli

President Obama has made it clear, both in word and action, that climate-change regulation is a top priority for his second term. Putting aside the legitimate questions about the science behind climate-change alarmism, the nomination of Gina McCarthy as EPA administrator is just the latest sign that the president is determined to push a market-subverting, economy-handcuffing energy agenda on the American people.

Obama wasted no time in selecting climate change as a top priority. During his inauguration speech, he played to our emotions with the liberal talking point that failing to address climate change “would betray our children and future generations.”

Obama then went on to escalate his commitment to climate change by delivering an ultimatum that, “If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy."

Climate-change regulation is the foundation of President Obama’s command-and-control energy policy, which will fundamentally transform our electricity market and put greater pressure on the wider economy.

Regulations targeting greenhouse-gas emissions (such as the carbon dioxide emitted from burning fossil fuels) result in higher prices for coal, oil and natural gas. Coal is by design the biggest loser with climate-change regulations, because it emits twice as much carbon dioxide as natural gas - its primary competitor for generating electricity. By raising the cost of coal through climate change regulations, Obama is forcing utilities to use natural gas and renewable energy.

With Gina McCarthy at the EPA’s helm, President Obama will have a trusted lieutenant eager to execute his command-and-control energy policy through the executive branch. McCarthy has a long history as an enforcer for climate-change regulatory strategy. Serving under then-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, she formulated the state’s Climate Protection Action Plan and headed Connecticut's Department of Environmental Protection. She headed the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative – a cap-and-trade system for a group of Northeastern states.

Tom Borelli

Tom Borelli, Ph.D., is a Senior Fellow with FreedomWorks.

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