Data

The graph depicts major statements about climate change, climate policy, and climate-related disasters by President Obama and Mitt Romney dating back to the 2008 presidential campaign. The climate change impacts depicted at the bottom of the graph are events that have occurred in the US which are influenced and exacerbated by greenhouse pollution from fossil fuels.

We focus on statements made in campaign speeches, major policy addresses like the State of the Union, and press releases, rather than actions taken through policy directives, executive orders, or legislative achievements. This is not meant to dismiss whatever progress has been made in the policy realm, but rather to emphasize that the importance in explaining to the American public the scope of the climate pollution threat.

Several categories of statements are displayed on the graph. We define those statements as follows:

  • Action: Statement describes an action that the candidate took to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, or otherwise tackle climate change in a meaningful way.
  • Promise: Statement is a declaration of intention to pursue a policy which will meaningfully affect the American contribution to climate change.
  • Affirmation: Statement recognizes what scientists have overwhelmingly found to be the case about climate change: that climate change is occurring, that humans are the dominant cause, and that it is having an impact on our weather, our economic well-being, and our way of life.
  • Avoidance: Statement is made in the context of a climate change impact, but doesn't mention climate change's role.
  • Denial: Statement denies that climate change is a problem by misstating scientific uncertainty about the occurrence of climate change, the seriousness of the problem, and/or the role of human emissions.
  • Exacerbation: Statement dismisses climate change as a problem and advocates for a policy which will increase greenhouse gas emissions and make climate change worse.

Below, we've included in depth descriptions of the statements depicted, along with links to the original source. (JSON file)

Obama

  • Affirmation October 2005: Senator Obama Says 'Science Is Not In Dispute,' Says Changes Visible, Criticizes Kyoto Protocol, Calls For Leadership. "I think that it's unfortunate that the issue of Kyoto Protocol has been conflated all too often in the debate with the issue of greenhouse gases, because I view these two issues as somewhat separate. There has been, unfortunately, I think some resistance and foot dragging on the part of not just this administration but the U.S. generally about the significance and potential severity of greenhouse gas emissions and their effects on climate change. I am one who believes that, in fact, the science is not in dispute. That we may not know all the details of how it's proceeding and how rapidly some of the adverse effects may be. But what's clear is that our atmosphere and the temperatures around the globe are changing. And I think Senator Murkowski probably knows this better than anybody because she's seeing it in her backyard. And so my hope in this hearing will be to get some sense from the administration that there is a sufficiently strong acknowledgement that this is, in fact, a problem and we feel some urgency about addressing the problem, particularly since we're the single largest emitter of greenhouse gases and consume a disproportionate share of the world's energy. The Kyoto Protocol was one effort to deal with this. And I think it was a valiant effort in the sense that, at a time when more of the science was still in dispute, people were farsighted enough to recognize that we needed to come up with some sort of international response to it. I actually share the view of a number of my colleagues here, Republican and Democrat, that an agreement that was unevenly applied did not project forward the enormous energy utilization and potential emissions from countries like China and India, and that did not set out the sorts of meaningful and achievable targets required to make a real difference probably was not the best way to go. And so from this hearing what I hope to learn is not only how have the objectives in the Kyoto Protocol been achieved but also what kind of alternatives are we presenting that will allow for us to participate with other countries to address this problem in the future in a constructive way? I'll just close, Mr. Chairman, by saying, though, that I do hope that this administration takes leadership in this process and is not an idle bystander. And I hope that our primary response as a country is not simply to try to study the problem more to death or to think that voluntary initiatives by the private sector alone are somehow going to achieve the important goals that need to be achieved." [U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Hearing On The Kyoto Protocol: Assessing the Status of Efforts To Reduce Greenhouse Gases, Oct. 5, 2005]
  • Promises April 2006: Senator Obama Delivers Powerful Address Calling Attention To Climate Disasters, Proposing An Array Of Solutions. But today, we're seeing that climate change is about more than a few unseasonably mild winters or hot summers. It's about the chain of natural catastrophes and devastating weather patterns that global warming is beginning to set off around the world - the frequency and intensity of which are breaking records thousands of years old. [Obama Address: Energy Independence and the Safety of Our Planet, April 3, 2006]
  • Affirmation January 2007: Obama Says Bush Mention Of Climate Change In State Of The Union Is 'Long Overdue' Because 'There's Great Urgency In Dealing With A Threat To The Entire Planet.' Senator Obama responds to President Bush's State of the Union address: "The idea of climate change finally passed his lips. That's long overdue. Obviously there's great urgency in dealing with a threat to the entire planet." [CBS Early Show, Jan. 24, 2007]
  • Promises January 2007: Obama Calls Climate Change A 'Real Threat' To Future Generations And 'Potentially' For The Present, Endorses Lieberman-McCain Legislation, Says 'Most Important Thing We Have To Have Is A Sense Of Urgency On The Part Of The American People.' "Fortunately, I think the American people have come to understand how important this issue is. I think those who still diminish the real threat that climate change poses to our children and our grandchildren, they are going to be lagging behind where the American people are at this point." "For decades, we have been warned by legions of scientists and mounds of evidence that global warming is real, that we couldn't just keep burning fossil fuels and contributing to the changing atmosphere without consequence. Yet for decades, far too many have ignored the warnings, either dismissing the science as a hoax, or believing that it was solely the concern of environmentalists looking to save polar bears and rain forests." "We know that climate change is about more than a few unseasonably mild winters or hot summers. It is about the chain of natural catastrophes and devastating weather patterns that global warming has begun to set off around the world, the frequency and intensity of which are breaking records thousands of years old. It is about the devastating consequences climate change might have on human health, access to water, and the production of our food. Still, despite all the ominous harbingers of things to come, and I am sure it has been noted already at this committee, the most recent studies that came out indicating that the polar ice caps would no longer exist in approximately 35 to 40 years, so it is no longer even an issue just for our children or our grandchildren, but potentially for us." "We don't have to stand helplessly by and accept this future. In fact, we can't afford to. Climate change may be unleashing the forces of nature, but we can't forget that while this has been accelerated by man, it can also be slowed by man." "In short, the Lieberman-McCain proposal addresses the real costs and consequences of our current patterns of energy use and establishes a framework for a market-based solution that relies on American will, ingenuity and technological expertise. It is a framework that is not only good for the environment; it is also good for business." "In short, the Lieberman-McCain proposal addresses the real costs and consequences of our current patterns of energy use and establishes a framework for a market-based solution that relies on American will, ingenuity and technological expertise. It is a framework that is not only good for the environment; it is also good for business." "Ultimately, the most important thing that we have to have is a sense of urgency on the part of the American people. Once the American people make a determination that something is important, politicians follow." [U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Hearing On Senators' Perspectives on Global Warming, Jan. 30, 2007]
  • Promises October 2007: Obama Promises To Lead On 'The Planet's Greatest Threat,' 'A Fact That Threatens Our Very Existence,' 'Most Urgent Challenge Of Our Era,' Discusses Specific Past And Future Impacts To United States, Pledges To 'Follow The Recommendations Of Top Scientists' With 'Hard Cap' To 'Phase Out A Carbon-Based Economy.' "For a brief moment, there was a hope that maybe this conference would be different -- that maybe America would finally commit to the steps that nearly every scientist and expert believes we must take; that maybe the planet's only superpower would finally lead the world -- or at the very least, follow it -- in taking on the planet's greatest threat." "I believe that when it comes to the issue that will determine the very future of life on this Earth, we are still Earth's best hope. And when the world arrives at the doorstep of the White House to hear what America has to say about climate change, I will let them know that America is up to the challenge. That America is ready to lead again." "Washington's failure to lead on energy is the failure of a President who spent most of his time in office denying the very existence of global warming -- a President who put more faith in the spin of a science fiction writer than the science facts of real experts. It's the failure of an Administration that developed America's energy policy with a secret task force that opened the door to oil lobbyists and then shut it to every other viewpoint. It's a failure of leadership that has never called on the American people to do anything more than go shopping." "Back then global warming was just the theory of a few scientists. Now it is a fact that threatens our very existence." "Most of all, we cannot afford more of the same timid politics when the future of our planet is at stake. Global warming is not a someday problem, it is now. In a state like New Hampshire, the ski industry is facing shorter seasons and losing jobs. We are already breaking records with the intensity of our storms, the number of forest fires, the periods of drought. By 2050 famine could force more than 250 million from their homes -- famine that will increase the chances of war and strife in many of the world's weakest states. The polar ice caps are now melting faster than science had ever predicted. And if we do nothing, sea levels will rise high enough to swallow large portions of every coastal city and town. This is not the future I want for my daughters. It's not the future any of us want for our children. And if we act now and we act boldly, it doesn't have to be. But if we wait; if we let campaign promises and State of the Union pledges go unanswered for yet another year; if we let the same broken politics that's held us back for decades win one more time, we will lose another chance to save our planet. And we might not get many more. I reject that future. I would not be running for President if I didn't believe that this time could be different." "The first step in doing this is to phase out a carbon-based economy that's causing our changing climate. As President, I will set a hard cap on all carbon emissions at a level that scientists say is necessary to curb global warming -- an 80% reduction by 2050. To ensure this isn't just talk, I will also commit to interim targets toward this goal in 2020, 2030, and 2040. These reductions will start immediately, and we'll continue to follow the recommendations of top scientists to ensure that our targets are strong enough to meet the challenge we face." "And we must find a way to stop coal from polluting our atmosphere without pretending that our nation's most abundant energy source will just go away. It won't. It will also require taking steps to ensure that China's coal emissions are curbed as well. Already, some coal pollution from China's dirty plants is making its way to California. That's why we must invest in clean coal technologies that we can use at home and share with the world. Until those technologies are available, I will rely on the carbon cap and whatever tools are necessary to stop new dirty coal plants from being built in America -- including a ban on new traditional coal facilities." "Now, none of these steps will happen overnight. They will take time, they will take sacrifice, and they will take a sustained commitment from the American people. As President, I will lead this commitment. I will not be outlining these goals in my State of the Union and then walk away when they become too difficult. I will report to the American people every year on the State of our Energy Future, and let you know the progress we've made toward an 80% emissions reduction by 2050, toward replacing over a third of our oil consumption by 2030, and toward improving our energy efficiency 50% by 2030. I will also make America's energy security a fundamental tenet of our national security by preparing our military to deal with threats posed by climate change." "And most of all, I want our children and our children's children to point to this generation and this moment as the time when America found its way again. As the time when America overcame the division and the politics and the pettiness of an earlier era so that a new generation could come together and take on the most urgent challenge of this era." [Remarks of Senator Barack Obama: Real Leadership for a Clean Energy Future, Oct. 8, 2007]
  • Promises October 2007: Obama Campaign Says 'Global Warming Is Real, Is Happening Now And Is The Result Of Human Activities,' And Says 'People Are Dying In Heat Waves' Among Other Active Consequences. "Global warming is real, is happening now and is the result of human activities. The number of Category 4 and 5 hurricanes has almost doubled in the last 30 years. Glaciers are melting faster; the polar ice caps are shrinking; trees are blooming earlier; oceans are becoming more acidic, threatening marine life; people are dying in heat waves; species are migrating, and eventually many will become extinct. Scientists predict that absent major emission reductions, climate change will worsen famine and drought in some of the poorest places in the world and wreak havoc across the globe. In the U.S., sea-level rise threatens to cause massive economic and ecological damage to our populated coastal areas." [Barack Obama's Plan To Make America A Global Energy Leader, Oct. 9, 2007]
  • Promises December 2007: Calling The 'Climate Crisis' One Of The 'Greatest Challenges Of This Generation,' Obama Supports International Negotiations And 80 Percent Reduction In Carbon By 2050. "The post-Kyoto climate negotiations that have kicked off in Bali offer an important opportunity for America to re-engage with the rest of the world in taking on one of the greatest challenges of this generation. But we must start by showing the world that we are serious about tackling the climate crisis here at home, which is why I've put forth a bold energy plan that would reduce our carbon emissions 80% by 2050. As President, I will also personally reach out to the leaders of the biggest carbon emitting nations and ask them to join America in creating a new Global Energy Forum that can continue the work begun in Bali and lay the foundation for the next generation of climate protocols." [Obama Statement on Climate Change Negotiations in Bali, Dec. 10, 2007]
  • Promises May 2008: Obama Warns Of Future Climate Peril To Americas, Promotes Cap And Trade. "And in the long-term, few regions are more imperiled by the stronger storms, higher floodwaters, and devastating droughts that could come with global warming. Whole crops could disappear, putting the food supply at risk for hundreds of millions. While we share this risk, we also share the resources to do something about it. That's why I'll bring together the countries of the region in a new Energy Partnership for the Americas. We need to go beyond bilateral agreements. We need a regional approach. Together, we can forge a path toward sustainable growth and clean energy. Leadership must begin at home. That's why I've proposed a cap and trade system to limit our carbon emissions and to invest in alternative sources of energy. We'll allow industrial emitters to offset a portion of this cost by investing in low carbon energy projects in Latin America and the Caribbean. And we'll increase research and development across the Americas in clean coal technology, in the next generation of sustainable biofuels not taken from food crops, and in wind and solar energy." [Remarks to the Cuban American National Foundation in Miami, Florida, May 23, 2008]
  • Promises June 2008: Upon Securing Democratic Nomination, Obama Says This Could Be 'The Moment When The Rise Of The Oceans Began To Slow And Our Planet Began To Heal.' "I face this challenge -- I face this challenge with profound humility and knowledge of my own limitations, but I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that, generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless, this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal, this was the moment when we ended a war, and secured our nation, and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth." [Barack Obama's Remarks in St. Paul, June 3, 2008]
  • Promises November 2008: President-elect Obama Talks About Visible, Active Impacts Of Climate Change On The United States, Says 'Few Challenges Facing America' Are 'More Urgent Than Combating Climate Change.' "Few challenges facing America -- and the world -- are more urgent than combating climate change. The science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear. Sea levels are rising. Coastlines are shrinking. We've seen record drought, spreading famine, and storms that are growing stronger with each passing hurricane season. Climate change and our dependence on foreign oil, if left unaddressed, will continue to weaken our economy and threaten our national security." "My presidency will mark a new chapter in America's leadership on climate change that will strengthen our security and create millions of new jobs in the process. That will start with a federal cap and trade system. We will establish strong annual targets that set us on a course to reduce emissions to their 1990 levels by 2020 and reduce them an additional 80% by 2050." "Let me also say a special word to the delegates from around the world who will gather at Poland next month: your work is vital to the planet." [President-elect Obama Promises 'New Chapter' On Climate Change, Nov. 18, 2008]
  • Promises February 2009: Obama Asks Congress For 'Market-Based Cap On Carbon Pollution' To 'Save Our Planet From The Ravages Of Climate Change.' "But to truly transform our economy, protect our security, and save our planet from the ravages of climate change, we need to ultimately make clean, renewable energy the profitable kind of energy. So I ask this Congress to send me legislation that places a market-based cap on carbon pollution and drives the production of more renewable energy in America. And to support that innovation, we will invest fifteen billion dollars a year to develop technologies like wind power and solar power; advanced biofuels, clean coal, and more fuel-efficient cars and trucks built right here in America." [Address To Joint Session of Congress, Feb. 24, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: In London, Obama Says He Discussed Climate Change With Indian Prime Minister, Says US Should 'Lead By Example' But If China And India Had Same Per-Capita Carbon Footprint, 'We Would Have All Melted By Now.' "We talked about a whole range of other issues related to, for example, energy, and how important it is for the United States to lead by example in reducing our carbon footprint so that we can help to forge agreements with countries like China and India that, on a per-capita basis, have a much smaller footprint and so justifiably chafe at the idea that they should have to sacrifice their development for our efforts to control climate change; but also acknowledging that if China and India, with their populations, had the same energy usage as the average American, then we would have all melted by now." [News Conference by President Obama in London, April 2, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: In Strasbourg, Obama Says 'Effects Of Climate Change Are Now In Plain Sight' And 'Time Is Running Out' To 'Lead A Global Effort To Reduce The Carbon That We Send In The Atmosphere.' "We also know that the pollution from cars in Boston or from factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps in the Arctic, and that that will disrupt weather patterns everywhere." "But every nation bears responsibility for what lies ahead, especially now, for whether it's the recession or climate change, or terrorism, or drug trafficking, poverty, or the proliferation of nuclear weapons, we have learned that without a doubt there's no quarter of the globe that can wall itself off from the threats of the 21st century." "This is the generation that must also stop the spread of the pollution that is slowly killing our planet, from shrinking coastlines and devastating storms to widespread misery and famine and drought. The effects of climate change are now in plain sight. Europe has acted with a seriousness of purpose that this challenge demands. And in the last few months I'm proud to say that America has begun to take unprecedented steps to transform the way that we use energy. We appointed a special envoy to help us lead a global effort to reduce the carbon that we send in the atmosphere. But we all know that time is running out. And that means that America must do more. Europe must do more. China and India must do more. Rolling back the tide of a warming planet is a responsibility that we have to ourselves, to our children, and all of those who will inherit God's creation long after we are gone. So let us meet that responsibility together. I am confident that we can meet it. But we have to begin today." [Remarks by President Obama at Strasbourg Town Hall, April 3, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: In Prague, Obama Says 'We Must Confront Climate Change By Ending The World's Dependence On Fossil Fuels' And The U.S. Is 'Now Ready To Lead.' "Now, to protect our planet, now is the time to change the way that we use energy. (Applause.) Together, we must confront climate change by ending the world's dependence on fossil fuels, by tapping the power of new sources of energy like the wind and sun, and calling upon all nations to do their part. And I pledge to you that in this global effort, the United States is now ready to lead." [Remarks by President Obama in Prague, April 5, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: In Turkey, Obama Connects Carbon Emissions, Global Warming, Sea Level Rise, Drought, And Flood. "As many of you know, I think the science tells us that the planet is getting warmer because of carbon gases that are being sent into the atmosphere. And if we do not take steps soon to deal with it, then you could see an increase of three, four, five degrees, which would have a devastating effect -- the oceans would rise; we don't know what would happen to the beauty of Istanbul if suddenly the seas rise. Changing weather patterns would create extraordinary drought in some regions, floods in others. It could have a devastating effect on human civilization. So we've got to take steps to deal with this." "So there are going to be big political struggles in every country to try to ratify an agreement on these issues. And that's why it's going to be so important that young people like yourself who will be suffering the consequences if we don't do something, that you are active politically in making sure that politicians in every country are responsive to these issues and that we educate the public more than we have so far." [Remarks by President Obama at a Student Roundtable in Istanbul, April 7, 2009]
  • Actions April 2009: In Mexico, Obama Says 'Clean Energy Future' Is A 'Priority For the United States.' "We also discussed what our nations can do to help bring a clean energy future to both countries. This is a priority for the United States. I know it's a priority for President Calderon. And I want to commend him for the work that he's already made in cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the commitment that he's made even though Mexico is not required to do so under the Kyoto Protocol. And together, we're establishing a new Bilateral Framework on Clean Energy and Climate Change that will focus on creating green jobs, promoting renewable energy, and enhancing energy efficiency. I look forward to strengthening our partnership in the upcoming Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate and in next year's U.N. climate negotiations, which I hope will be held here in Mexico." [Joint Press Conference with President Barack Obama and President Felipe Calderon in Mexico City, Mexico, April 16, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: Obama Says High Speed Rail Will 'Significantly Lessen The Damage To Our Planet' And Reduce 'Carbon Dioxide Emissions.' "With high-speed rail system, we're going to be able to pull people off the road, lowering our dependence on foreign oil, lowering the bill for our gas in our gas tanks." "And we're going to significantly lessen the damage to our planet. This is a giant environmental down payment." "Some of you flew down here and you know what that was about. We're at the mercy of fluctuating gas prices all too often; we pump too many greenhouse gases into the air." "We'll move to cleaner energy and a cleaner environment, we'll reduce our need for foreign oil by millions of barrels a year, and eliminate more than 6 billion pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually --- equal to removing 1 million cars from our roads." [Remarks by the President and the Vice President on a Vision for High-Speed Rail in America, April 16, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: In Earth Day Speech, Obama Says 'Shifting Weather Patterns' Are 'Already Causing Record-Breaking Droughts, Unprecedented Wildfires, More Intense Storms.' "But just as we've led the global economy in developing new sources of energy, we've also led in consuming energy." "And this appetite comes now at a tremendous cost to our economy." "It's the cost we feel in shifting weather patterns that are already causing record-breaking droughts, unprecedented wildfires, more intense storms." "We can't afford that approach anymore -- not when the cost for our economy, for our country, and for our planet is so high. So on this Earth Day, it is time for us to lay a new foundation for economic growth by beginning a new era of energy exploration in America." "We can allow climate change to wreak unnatural havoc across the landscape, or we can create jobs working to prevent its worst effects." "In the end, the sum total of choices made by consumers and companies in response to our recovery plan will mean less pollution in our air and water, it'll reduce costs for families and businesses -- money in your pocket -- and it will lower our overall reliance on fossil fuels which disrupt our environment and endanger our children's future." [Remarks by the President on Clean Energy in Newton, Iowa, April 22, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: In Earth Day Speech, Obama Says We Have To 'Drastically Reduce Our Dependence On Oil And Fossil Fuels' And 'Cut Our Carbon Pollution By About 80 Percent By 2050' Although 'In The Short Term' We 'Can And Should Increase' Oil And Gas Drilling. "It's going to take a variety of energy sources, pursued through a variety of policies, to drastically reduce our dependence on oil and fossil fuels. As I've often said, in the short term, as we transition to renewable energy, we can and should increase our domestic production of oil and natural gas. We're not going to transform our economy overnight. We still need more oil, we still need more gas." "But the bulk of our efforts must focus on unleashing a new, clean-energy economy that will begin to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, will cut our carbon pollution by about 80 percent by 2050, and create millions of new jobs right here in America -- right here in Newton." [Remarks by the President on Clean Energy in Newton, Iowa, April 22, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: In Earth Day Speech, Obama Explains He's 'Pursuing Comprehensive Legislation' To Close The 'Carbon Loophole' Because 'Carbon Dioxide And Other Greenhouse Gases' Are 'Harmful To The Health And Well-Being Of Our People.' "My administration will be pursuing comprehensive legislation to move towards energy independence and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, while creating the incentives to make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America. Now, there's been some debate about this whole climate change issue. But it's serious. It could be a problem. It could end up having an impact on farmers like Rich. If you're starting to see temperatures grow -- rise 1, 2, 3 percent, have a profound impact on our lives. And the fact is, we place limits on pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide and other harmful emissions. But we haven't placed any limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. It's what's called the carbon loophole. Now, last week, in response to a mandate from the United States Supreme Court, the Environmental Protection Agency determined that carbon dioxide and other tailpipe emissions are harmful to the health and well-being of our people. So there's no question that we have to regulate carbon pollution in some way; the only question is how we do it. I believe the best way to do it is through legislation that places a market-based cap on these kinds of emissions. And today, key members of my administration are testifying in Congress on a bill that seeks to enact exactly this kind of market-based approach. My hope is that this will be the vehicle through which we put this policy in effect. And here's how a market-based cap would work: We'd set a cap, a ceiling, on all the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that our economy is allowed to produce in total, combining the emissions from cars and trucks, coal-fired power plants, energy-intensive industries, all sources. And by setting an overall cap, carbon pollution becomes like a commodity. It places a value on a limited resource, and that is the ability to pollute. And to determine that value, just like any other traded commodity, we'd create a market where companies could buy and sell the right to produce a certain amount of carbon pollution. And in this way, every company can determine for itself whether it makes sense to spend the money to become cleaner or more efficient, or to spend the money on a certain amount of allowable pollution. Over time, as the cap on greenhouse gases is lowered, the commodity becomes scarcer -- and the price goes up. And year by year, companies and consumers would have greater incentive to invest in clean energy and energy efficiency as the price of the status quo became more expensive. What this does is it makes wind power more economical, makes solar power more economical. Clean energy all becomes more economical. And by closing the carbon loophole through this kind of market-based cap, we can address in a systematic way all the facets of the energy crisis: We lower our dependence on foreign oil, we reduce our use of fossil fuels, we promote new industries right here in America." [Remarks by the President on Clean Energy in Newton, Iowa, April 22, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: In Earth Day Speech, Obama Rejects The 'Notion' That 'We Can't Change' Our 'Dependence On Energy Sources' That 'Endanger Our Planet' As Well As The 'Even More Dangerous Idea' That 'Our People Are Unwilling To Make Hard Choices' Or 'Tackle Tough Challenges.' "Now, there are those who still cling to the notion that we ought to just continue doing what we do; that we can't change; Americans like to use a lot of energy, that's just how we are; that government has neither the responsibility nor the reason to address our dependence on energy sources even though they undermine our security and threaten our economy and endanger our planet. And then there is this even more dangerous idea -- the idea that there's nothing we can do about it: our politics is broken, our people are unwilling to make hard choices. So politicians decide, look, even though we know it's something that has to be done, we're just going to put it off. That's what happened for the last three, four, five decades. Everybody has known that we had to do something but nobody wanted to actually go ahead and do it because it's hard. So the implication in this argument is that we've somehow lost something important -- that perhaps because of the very prosperity we've built over the course of generations, that we've given up that fighting American spirit, that sense of optimism, that willingness to tackle tough challenges, that determination to see those challenges to the end, the notion that we've gotten soft somehow. I reject that argument." [Remarks by the President on Clean Energy in Newton, Iowa, April 22, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: In Earth Day Speech, Obama Announces Major-Economy Summit On 'Climate Crisis.' "Now, this is also a global problem, so it's going to require a global coalition to solve it. If we've got problems with climate change, and the temperature rising all around the world, that knows no boundaries; and the decisions of any nation will affect every nation. So next week, I will be gathering leaders of major economies from all around the world to talk about how we can work together to address this energy crisis and this climate crisis. Truth is the United States has been slow to participate in this kind of a process, working with other nations. But those days are over now. We are ready to engage -- and we're asking other nations to join us in tackling this challenge together." [Remarks by the President on Clean Energy in Newton, Iowa, April 22, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: Describing 'System Of Energy' That 'Endangers Our Planet,' Obama Notes Goal To 'Reduce Our Carbon Pollution By More Than 80 Percent By 2050,' Promises 'Comprehensive Legislation To Place A Market-Based Cap On Carbon Emissions.' "Today, of course, we face more complex challenges than we have ever faced before: a medical system that holds the promise of unlocking new cures and treatments -- attached to a health care system that holds the potential for bankruptcy to families and businesses; a system of energy that powers our economy, but simultaneously endangers our planet; threats to our security that seek to exploit the very interconnectedness and openness so essential to our prosperity; and challenges in a global marketplace which links the derivative trader on Wall Street to the homeowner on Main Street, the office worker in America to the factory worker in China -- a marketplace in which we all share in opportunity, but also in crisis." "But energy is our great project, this generation's great project. And that's why I've set a goal for our nation that we will reduce our carbon pollution by more than 80 percent by 2050. And that is why I'm pursuing, in concert with Congress, the policies that will help us meet this goal." "My administration will pursue, as well, comprehensive legislation to place a market-based cap on carbon emissions." [Remarks by the President at the National Academy of Sciences Annual Meeting, April 27, 2009]
  • Promises April 2009: Obama Says 'Market-Based Cap On Carbon Pollution' Is Needed To 'Harness The Renewable Energy That Can Create Millions Of New Jobs And New Industries.' "We can't rest until we harness the renewable energy that can create millions of new jobs and new industries. The Recovery Act will double the supply of renewable energy, but the only way to truly spark an energy transformation is through a gradual, market-based cap on carbon pollution so that energy, clean energy is the profitable kind of energy. And we can do this in a way that creates jobs. That's how we can grow our economy, enhance our security, and protect our planet at the same time." [Remarks by the President in Arnold, Missouri Town Hall, April 29, 2009]
  • Promises May 2009: Obama Praises 'Comprehensive Energy Legislation' That Will 'Cap The Carbon Pollution That Threatens Our Health And Our Climate.' "Chairman Henry Waxman and members of the Energy and Commerce Committee brought together stakeholders from all corners of the country -- and every sector of our economy -- to reach an historic agreement on comprehensive energy legislation. It's another promising sign of progress, as longtime opponents are sitting together, at the same table, to help solve one of America's most serious challenges. For the first time, utility companies and corporate leaders are joining, not opposing, environmental advocates and labor leaders to create a new system of clean energy initiatives that will help unleash a new era of growth and prosperity. It's a plan that will finally reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil and cap the carbon pollution that threatens our health and our climate. Most important, it's a plan that will trigger the creation of millions of new jobs for Americans, who will produce the wind turbines and solar panels and develop the alternative fuels to power the future. Because this we know: the nation that leads in 21st century clean energy is the nation that will lead the 21st century global economy. America can and must be that nation -- and this agreement is a major step toward this goal." [WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama Says Progress on Clean Energy and Healthcare Reform Will Lay New Foundation, May 16, 2009]
  • Actions May 2009: Obama Announces 'Historic' Tailpipe Greenhouse Standards, Says Oil-Based Economy Has 'Wreaked Havoc On Our Climate.' "Now, thank you all for coming to the White House today, and for coming together around what I consider to be a historic agreement to help America break its dependence on oil, reduce harmful pollution, and begin the transition to a clean energy economy." "For the first time in history, we have set in motion a national policy aimed at both increasing gas mileage and decreasing greenhouse gas pollution for all new trucks and cars sold in the United States of America." "We have over the course of decades slowly built an economy that runs on oil. It has given us much of what we have -- for good but also for ill. It has transformed the way we live and work, but it's also wreaked havoc on our climate. It has helped create gains in prosperity unprecedented in history, but it also places our future in jeopardy." [Remarks by the President on National Fuel Efficiency Standards, May 19, 2009]
  • Promises June 2009: In Germany, Obama Says 'Cap And Trade System' Helps 'Deal With Potentially Cataclysmic Disaster' Of 'Climate Change' And Is 'Hopeful' That US Will Have 'Concrete' 'Commitment' Before Copenhagen. "In terms of climate change, ultimately the world is going to need targets that it can meet. It can't be general, vague approaches. We're going to have to make some tough decisions and take concrete actions if we are going to deal with a potentially cataclysmic disaster. And we are seeing progress in Congress around energy legislation that would set up for the first time in the United States a cap and trade system. That process is moving forward in ways that I think if you had asked political experts two or three months ago would have seemed impossible. So I'm actually more optimistic than I was about America being able to take leadership on this issue, joining Europe, which over the last several years has been ahead of us on this issue. As I told Chancellor Merkel, unless the United States and Europe, with our large carbon footprints, per capita carbon footprints, are willing to take some decisive steps, it's going to be very difficult for us to persuade countries that on a per capita basis at least are still much less wealthy, like China or India, to take the steps that they're going to need to take in controlling carbon emissions. So we are very committed to working together and hopeful that we can arrive in Copenhagen having displayed that commitment in concrete ways." [Remarks by President Obama and Chancellor Merkel of Germany, Dresden, June 5, 2009]
  • Affirmation June 2009: Obama Calls For House Passage Of 'Clean Energy' Bill That Will 'Confront The Carbon Pollution That Threatens Our Planet,' Does Not Mention Climate. "This week, the House of Representatives is moving ahead on historic legislation that will transform the way we produce and use energy in America. This legislation will spark a clean energy transformation that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and confront the carbon pollution that threatens our planet." "At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air that we breathe." "The nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century's global economy. That's what this legislation seeks to achieve -- it's a bill that will open the door to a better future for this nation. And that's why I urge members of Congress to come together and pass it." [Press Conference by the President, June 23, 2009]
  • Affirmation June 2009: Obama Calls For House Passage Of 'Clean Energy' Bill, Saying 'Carbon Pollution Is Placing Our Planet In Jeopardy.' "Right now, the House of Representatives is moving towards a vote of historic proportions on a piece of legislation that will open the door to a new clean energy economy." "We have seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security. We have seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet." "It will spur the development of low carbon sources of energy -- everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safer nuclear energy and cleaner coal." "Instead of increasing the deficit, it is paid for by the polluters who currently emit dangerous carbon emissions." "There is no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy. It's happening." "So let's take this opportunity to come together and meet our obligations -- to our constituents, to our children, to God's creation, and to future generations." [Remarks by the President on the Importance of Passing a Historic Energy Bill, June 25, 2009]
  • Promises June 2009: Obama Praises House Passage Of 'Clean Energy' Bill, Says 'Carbon Pollution Is Placing Our Planet In Jeopardy.' "Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a historic piece of legislation that will open the door to a clean energy economy and a better future for America." "We have seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security. We have seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet." "It will spur the development of low carbon sources of energy -- everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safer nuclear energy and cleaner coal." "Instead of increasing the deficit, it is paid for by the polluters who currently emit dangerous carbon emissions." "There is no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy. It's happening." "So I want to congratulate the House for passing this bill, and I want to urge the Senate to take this opportunity to come together and meet our obligations -- to our constituents, to our children, to God's creation, and to future generations." [WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama Calls Energy Bill Passage Critical To Stronger American Economy, June 27, 2009]
  • Affirmation June 2009: Obama Discusses 'Limiting The Dangerous Pollutants That Threaten Our Health And The Health Of Our Planet,' Says 'The Solution To Global Climate Change Requires American Leadership Abroad,' With The Goal Of A 'Global Low-Carbon Economy.' "And we know this won't be easy, but this is a moment where we've been called upon to cast off the old ways of doing business, and act boldly to reclaim America's future. Nowhere is this more important than in building a new, clean energy economy, ending our dependence on foreign oil, and limiting the dangerous pollutants that threaten our health and the health of our planet." "And we know that even as we seek solutions to our energy problems at home, the solution to global climate change requires American leadership abroad. That's why I've appointed a global climate envoy to help lead our reengagement with the international community as we find sustainable ways to transition to a global low-carbon economy." [Remarks by the President on Energy, June 29, 2009]
  • Affirmation July 2009: Obama Praises Fuel-Efficiency Policy To 'Decrease Carbon Pollution' And 'Extraordinary' House Legislation That 'Will Prevent The Worst Consequences Of Climate Change.' "Thanks to a remarkable partnership between automakers, autoworkers, environmental advocates, and states, we also set in motion a new national policy to increase gas mileage and decrease carbon pollution for all new cars and trucks sold in this country, which is going to save us 1.8 billion barrels of oil." "And last Friday, the House of Representatives passed an extraordinary piece of legislation that would make renewable energy the profitable kind of energy in America. It will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It will prevent the worst consequences of climate change." [Remarks by the President After Meeting With Energy CEOs, July 2, 2009]
  • Promises July 2009: At US-China Summit, Obama Says Neither Country Can 'Spare Our People From The Ravages Of Climate Change,' But 'Together We Can Chart A Low Carbon Recovery' And 'Forge A Global Response' In Copenhagen To 'Protect Our Planet.' "Will the need for energy breed competition and climate change, or will we build partnerships to produce clean power and to protect our planet?" "The United States and China are the two largest consumers of energy in the world. We are also the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. Let's be frank: Neither of us profits from a growing dependence on foreign oil, nor can we spare our people from the ravages of climate change unless we cooperate. Common sense calls upon us to act in concert. Both of our countries are taking steps to transform our energy economies. Together we can chart a low carbon recovery; we can expand joint efforts at research and development to promote the clean and efficient use of energy; and we can work together to forge a global response at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and beyond." [Remarks by the President at the U.S./China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, July 27, 2009]
  • Affirmation July 2009: Obama Says 'Cash For Clunkers' Program 'Reduces Dangerous Carbon Pollution.' "Now, one of the steps we've taken to boost our economy is an initiative known as 'Cash for Clunkers.' Basically, this allows folks to trade in their older, less fuel-efficient cars for credits that go towards buying fewer, more -- newer, more fuel-efficient cars. This gives consumers a break, reduces dangerous carbon pollution and our dependence on foreign oil, and strengthens the American auto industry." [Remarks by the President on the Economy, July 31, 2009]
  • Affirmation August 2009: Obama Praises NASCAR For 'Working To Offset Carbon Emissions.' "It's about what you're doing to protect our environment and help America become energy independent -- using solar energy, and working to offset carbon emissions, and even hiring a director of green innovation to take your commitment to the next level." [Remarks by the President Honoring 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, Aug. 19, 2009]
  • Affirmation September 2009: Obama Says 'Carbon Emissions' Are 'Melting The Ice Caps And Imperiling The Planet,' And 'We Owe A Great Debt Of Thanks' To Gore, Who 'Made That Particular Truth Impossible To Ignore.' "Carbon emissions from cars in Boston and factories in Beijing are melting the ice caps and imperiling the planet. And by the way, we're joined here by the leader who made that particular truth impossible to ignore -- former Vice President Al Gore, and we owe a great debt of thanks to him." [Remarks by the President at the Clinton Global Initiative, Sept. 22, 2009]
  • Promises September 2009: Obama Tells UN That 'The Danger Posed By Climate Change Cannot Be Denied' So 'The Days When America Dragged Its Feet On This Issue Are Over,' Promises 'Deep Cuts In Emissions' For 2020 And 2050 Goals. "And now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges. Now, if we are honest with ourselves, we need to admit that we are not living up to that responsibility. Consider the course that we're on if we fail to confront the status quo: Extremists sowing terror in pockets of the world; protracted conflicts that grind on and on; genocide; mass atrocities; more nations with nuclear weapons; melting ice caps and ravaged populations; persistent poverty and pandemic disease. I say this not to sow fear, but to state a fact: The magnitude of our challenges has yet to be met by the measure of our actions." "The danger posed by climate change cannot be denied. Our responsibility to meet it must not be deferred. If we continue down our current course, every member of this Assembly will see irreversible changes within their borders. Our efforts to end conflicts will be eclipsed by wars over refugees and resources. Development will be devastated by drought and famine. Land that human beings have lived on for millennia will disappear. Future generations will look back and wonder why we refused to act; why we failed to pass on -- why we failed to pass on an environment that was worthy of our inheritance. And that is why the days when America dragged its feet on this issue are over. We will move forward with investments to transform our energy economy, while providing incentives to make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. We will press ahead with deep cuts in emissions to reach the goals that we set for 2020, and eventually 2050. We will continue to promote renewable energy and efficiency, and share new technologies with countries around the world. And we will seize every opportunity for progress to address this threat in a cooperative effort with the entire world. And those wealthy nations that did so much damage to the environment in the 20th century must accept our obligation to lead. But responsibility does not end there. While we must acknowledge the need for differentiated responses, any effort to curb carbon emissions must include the fast-growing carbon emitters who can do more to reduce their air pollution without inhibiting growth. And any effort that fails to help the poorest nations both adapt to the problems that climate change have already wrought and help them travel a path of clean development simply will not work. It's hard to change something as fundamental as how we use energy. I know that. It's even harder to do so in the midst of a global recession. Certainly, it will be tempting to sit back and wait for others to move first. But we cannot make this journey unless we all move forward together. As we head into Copenhagen, let us resolve to focus on what each of us can do for the sake of our common future." [Remarks by the President to the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 23, 2009]
  • Avoidance October 2009: Obama Calls For Senate Passage Of 'Clean Energy' Bill, Praises 'Clean Coal Technology,' Avoids Any Mention Of Cap-And-Trade, Carbon, Or Climate. "And I also believe that such a comprehensive piece of legislation that is taking place right now in Congress is going to be critical. That's going to finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America -- legislation that will make the best use of resources we have in abundance, through clean coal technology, safe nuclear power, sustainably grown biofuels, and energy we harness from the wind, waves, and sun. The House has already acted and passed such legislation and the Senate is on the way." [Remarks by the President on Recovery Act Funding for Smart Grid Technology, Oct. 26, 2009]
  • Affirmation October 2009: Obama Says 'Smart Meters' Will 'Reduce The Carbon Pollution That Causes Climate Change.' "Now, let me explain what's going on with these smart meters." "And all this information will help increase renewable energy generation, provide support for plug-in electric vehicles, and reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change." [Remarks by the President on Recovery Act Funding for Smart Grid Technology, Oct. 26, 2009]
  • Affirmation November 2009: In China, Obama Mentions 'Scourge Of Climate Change.' "Today, we have a positive, constructive and comprehensive relationship that opens the door to partnership on the key global issues of our time -- economic recovery and the development of clean energy; stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and the scourge of climate change; the promotion of peace and security in Asia and around the globe. All of these issues will be on the agenda tomorrow when I meet with President Hu." [Remarks by President Obama at Town Hall Meeting with Future Chinese Leaders, Nov. 16, 2009]
  • Promises November 2009: In Address To US From South Korea, Obama Pledges Copenhagen Success 'That Leads To Immediate Action To Reduce Carbon Pollution.' "As the two largest consumers and producers of energy, we developed a host of new clean energy initiatives with China, and our two nations agreed to work toward a successful outcome at the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen -- an outcome that leads to immediate action to reduce carbon pollution." [Weekly Address: President Obama's Overseas Trip Focused on Better Relations with Asia and Creating Jobs at Home, Nov. 21, 2009]
  • Avoidance December 2009: Meeting With Corporate Leaders, Obama Says Settling 'Price Of Carbon' Would 'Maximize The Benefits Of Clean Energy Investment,' Avoids Climate Change. "Now, I will tell you that in the green energy discussion, the clean energy discussion, there was also an acknowledgment that we're not going to be able to maximize the benefits of clean energy investment unless we get settled how we're dealing with carbon and the price of carbon." [Remarks by the President and Q&A at the Closing Session of the Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth, Dec. 3, 2009]
  • Affirmation December 2009: Obama Says Clean Energy Incentives Can Get Companies To 'Lower Carbon Emissions.' "Incentives to promote energy efficiency and clean energy manufacturing don't automatically create jobs or lower carbon emissions -- but these steps provide a framework in which companies can compete and innovate to create those jobs and reduce energy consumption." "I'm calling on Congress to consider a new program to provide incentives for consumers who retrofit their homes to become more energy-efficient, which we know creates jobs, saves money for families, and reduces the pollution that threatens our environment." [Remarks by the President on Job Creation and Economic Growth, Dec. 8, 2009]
  • Affirmation December 2009: Accepting Nobel Peace Prize In Oslo, Obama Says 'The World Must Come Together To Confront Climate Change' With 'Swift And Forceful Action' Because 'Our Common Security Hangs In The Balance.' "It's also why the world must come together to confront climate change. There is little scientific dispute that if we do nothing, we will face more drought, more famine, more mass displacement -- all of which will fuel more conflict for decades. For this reason, it is not merely scientists and environmental activists who call for swift and forceful action -- it's military leaders in my own country and others who understand our common security hangs in the balance." [Remarks by the President at the Acceptance of the Nobel Peace Prize, Dec. 10, 2009]
  • Actions December 2009: At Climate Press Conference In Copenhagen, Obama Says 'Climate Change Threatens Us All' But Copenhagen Actions 'Will Help Us Begin To Meet Our Responsibilites To Leave Our Children And Our Grandchildren A Cleaner And Safer Planet.' "Taken together these actions will help us begin to meet our responsibilities to leave our children and our grandchildren a cleaner and safer planet." "Climate change threatens us all; therefore, we must bridge old divides and build new partnerships to meet this great challenge of our time. That's what we've begun to do here today. For energy holds out not just the perils of a warming climate, but also the promise of a more peaceful and prosperous tomorrow." [Remarks by the President during press availability in Copenhagen, Dec. 18, 2009]
  • Promises December 2009: At Climate Conference In Copenhagen, Obama Says 'Climate Change Poses A Grave And Growing Danger' But 'I Believe We Can Act Boldy And Decisively In The Face Of A Common Threat.' "We come here in Copenhagen because climate change poses a grave and growing danger to our people. All of you would not be here unless you -- like me -- were convinced that this danger is real. This is not fiction, it is science. Unchecked, climate change will pose unacceptable risks to our security, our economies, and our planet. This much we know." "So I want this plenary session to understand, America is going to continue on this course of action to mitigate our emissions and to move towards a clean energy economy, no matter what happens here in Copenhagen." [Remarks by the President at the Morning Plenary Session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, Dec. 18, 2009]
  • Promises January 2010: In SOTU, Obama Says 'Comprehensive Energy And Climate Bill' Is Needed For 'Clean Energy Economy,' Even If You 'Disagree With The Overwhelming Scientific Evidence On Climate Change.' "But to create more of these clean energy jobs, we need more production, more efficiency, more incentives. And that means building a new generation of safe, clean nuclear power plants in this country. It means making tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development. It means continued investment in advanced biofuels and clean coal technologies. And, yes, it means passing a comprehensive energy and climate bill with incentives that will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America. I am grateful to the House for passing such a bill last year. And this year I'm eager to help advance the bipartisan effort in the Senate. I know there have been questions about whether we can afford such changes in a tough economy. I know that there are those who disagree with the overwhelming scientific evidence on climate change. But here's the thing -- even if you doubt the evidence, providing incentives for energy-efficiency and clean energy are the right thing to do for our future --- because the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy. And America must be that nation." [State of the Union Address, Jan. 27, 2010]
  • Promises February 2010: Obama Calls For House Passage Of 'Clean Energy' Bill, Saying 'Carbon Pollution Is Placing Our Planet In Jeopardy.' "Right now, the House of Representatives is moving towards a vote of historic proportions on a piece of legislation that will open the door to a new clean energy economy." "We have seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security. We have seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet." "It will spur the development of low carbon sources of energy -- everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safer nuclear energy and cleaner coal." "Instead of increasing the deficit, it is paid for by the polluters who currently emit dangerous carbon emissions." "There is no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy. It's happening." "So let's take this opportunity to come together and meet our obligations -- to our constituents, to our children, to God's creation, and to future generations." [Remarks by the President on the Importance of Passing a Historic Energy Bill, Feb. 3, 2010]
  • Affirmation February 2010: Obama Calls For House Passage Of 'Clean Energy' Bill That Will 'Confront The Carbon Pollution That Threatens Our Planet,' Does Not Mention Climate. "This week, the House of Representatives is moving ahead on historic legislation that will transform the way we produce and use energy in America. This legislation will spark a clean energy transformation that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and confront the carbon pollution that threatens our planet." "At a time of great fiscal challenges, this legislation is paid for by the polluters who currently emit the dangerous carbon emissions that contaminate the water we drink and pollute the air that we breathe." "The nation that leads in the creation of a clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the 21st century's global economy. That's what this legislation seeks to achieve -- it's a bill that will open the door to a better future for this nation. And that's why I urge members of Congress to come together and pass it." [Press Conference by the President, Feb. 3, 2010]
  • Promises February 2010: Obama Says 'Everybody Should Understand' That Climate Change Means 'More Violent Storm Systems' And 'More Unpredictable Weather,' And Says 'Price On These Carbons' Would Get Companies To 'Make Our Planet Cleaner,' But 'We're Still Going To Be Getting Our Electricity From Coal' Because 'It's Not Going To Happen Overnight.' "First of all, we just got five feet of snow in Washington and so everybody is like -- a lot of the people who are opponents of climate change, they say, see, look at that, there's all this snow on the ground, this doesn't mean anything. I want to just be clear that the science of climate change doesn't mean that every place is getting warmer; it means the planet as a whole is getting warmer. But what it may mean is, for example, Vancouver, which is supposed to be getting snow during the Olympics, suddenly is at 55 degrees, and Dallas suddenly is getting seven inches of snow. The idea is, is that as the planet as a whole gets warmer, you start seeing changing weather patterns, and that creates more violent storm systems, more unpredictable weather. So any single place might end up being warmer; another place might end up being a little bit cooler; there might end up being more precipitation in the air, more monsoons, more hurricanes, more tornadoes, more drought in some places, floods in other places. So I just -- that's one aspect of the science that I think everybody should understand. That's point number one." "Well, that's the only idea that we're trying to talk about when it comes to these greenhouse gases that are causing global warming. If we say that, you know what, the pollution that's being sent into the atmosphere has a cost to all of us -- in terms of in some cases the air we breathe that's causing asthma, in some cases because it's causing climate change -- we just want you to take into account those costs and price energy accordingly." "The idea has been that if we put a price on these carbons, then maybe that would be a way that companies would all respond and start inventing new things that would make our planet cleaner. That's the whole idea." "It is true, though, that it's not going to happen overnight; it's going to take some time. And we're still going to be getting our electricity from coal; we're still going to be getting electricity from nuclear energy; we're still going to be getting electricity and power from natural gas and other traditional sources. We just want to make sure that we're also moving into the future even as we do so." [Remarks by the President at Town Hall Meeting in Henderson, Nevada, Feb. 9, 2010]
  • Affirmation February 2010: Obama Says We Need Increase Nuclear Power To 'Prevent The Worst Consequences Of Climate Change.' "Now, I know it's been long assumed that those who champion the environment are opposed to nuclear power. But the fact is, even though we've not broken ground on a new power plant -- new nuclear plant in 30 years, nuclear energy remains our largest source of fuel that produces no carbon emissions. To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we'll need to increase our supply of nuclear power. It's that simple. This one plant, for example, will cut carbon pollution by 16 million tons each year when compared to a similar coal plant. That's like taking 3.5 million cars off the road." [Remarks by the President on Energy in Lanham, MD, Feb. 16, 2010]
  • Promises February 2010: Obama Praises House Passage Of 'Clean Energy' Bill, Says 'Carbon Pollution Is Placing Our Planet In Jeopardy.' "Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a historic piece of legislation that will open the door to a clean energy economy and a better future for America." "We have seen our reliance on fossil fuels jeopardize our national security. We have seen it pollute the air we breathe and endanger our planet." "It will spur the development of low carbon sources of energy -- everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safer nuclear energy and cleaner coal." "Instead of increasing the deficit, it is paid for by the polluters who currently emit dangerous carbon emissions." "There is no longer a debate about whether carbon pollution is placing our planet in jeopardy. It's happening." "So I want to congratulate the House for passing this bill, and I want to urge the Senate to take this opportunity to come together and meet our obligations -- to our constituents, to our children, to God's creation, and to future generations." [WEEKLY ADDRESS: President Obama Calls Energy Bill Passage Critical To Stronger American Economy, Feb. 19, 2010]
  • Promises February 2010: Obama Discusses 'Limiting The Dangerous Pollutants That Threaten Our Health And The Health Of Our Planet,' Says 'The Solution To Global Climate Change Requires American Leadership Abroad,' With The Goal Of A 'Global Low-Carbon Economy.' "And we know this won't be easy, but this is a moment where we've been called upon to cast off the old ways of doing business, and act boldly to reclaim America's future. Nowhere is this more important than in building a new, clean energy economy, ending our dependence on foreign oil, and limiting the dangerous pollutants that threaten our health and the health of our planet." "And we know that even as we seek solutions to our energy problems at home, the solution to global climate change requires American leadership abroad. That's why I've appointed a global climate envoy to help lead our re-engagement with the international community as we find sustainable ways to transition to a global low-carbon economy." [Remarks by the President on Energy, Feb. 24, 2010]
  • Avoidance March 2010: Obama Praises Fuel-Efficiency Policy To 'Decrease Carbon Pollution' And 'Extraordinary' House Legislation That 'Will Prevent The Worst Consequences Of Climate Change.' "Thanks to a remarkable partnership between automakers, autoworkers, environmental advocates, and states, we also set in motion a new national policy to increase gas mileage and decrease carbon pollution for all new cars and trucks sold in this country, which is going to save us 1.8 billion barrels of oil." "And last Friday, the House of Representatives passed an extraordinary piece of legislation that would make renewable energy the profitable kind of energy in America. It will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It will prevent the worst consequences of climate change." [Remarks by the President After Meeting With Energy CEOs, March 5, 2010]
  • Affirmation March 2010: At US-China Summit, Obama Says Neither Country Can 'Spare Our People From The Ravages Of Climate Change,' But 'Together We Can Chart A Low Carbon Recovery' And 'Forge A Global Response' In Copenhagen To 'Protect Our Planet.' "Will the need for energy breed competition and climate change, or will we build partnerships to produce clean power and to protect our planet?" "The United States and China are the two largest consumers of energy in the world. We are also the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. Let's be frank: Neither of us profits from a growing dependence on foreign oil, nor can we spare our people from the ravages of climate change unless we cooperate. Common sense calls upon us to act in concert. Both of our countries are taking steps to transform our energy economies. Together we can chart a low carbon recovery; we can expand joint efforts at research and development to promote the clean and efficient use of energy; and we can work together to forge a global response at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and beyond." [Remarks by the President at the U.S./China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, March 5, 2010]
  • Avoidance March 2010: Criticizing 'Environmentalists' Who 'Claim' That Oil Drilling 'Has No Place,' Obama Announces 'New Offshore Areas For Oil And Gas Development' While Stressing Need To Move To 'Clean Energy' Because Of 'Mounting Evidence Of Climate Change From The Arctic Circle To The Gulf Coast' And Calls For 'Comprehensive Energy And Climate Legislation' In Part To 'Protect Our Planet.' "And tomorrow, after decades in which we have done little to increase auto efficiency, those new standards will be finalized, which will reduce our dependence on oil while helping folks spend a little less at the pump." "In order to save energy and taxpayer dollars, my administration -- led by Secretary Chu at Energy, as well as Administrator Johnson at GSA -- is doubling the number of hybrid vehicles in the federal fleet, even as we seek to reduce the number of cars and trucks used by our government overall." "We need to make continued investments in clean coal technologies and advanced biofuels. A few weeks ago, I announced loan guarantees to break ground on America's first new nuclear facility in three decades, a project that will create thousands of jobs. And in the short term, as we transition to cleaner energy sources, we've still got to make some tough decisions about opening new offshore areas for oil and gas development in ways that protect communities and protect coastlines. This is not a decision that I've made lightly. It's one that Ken and I -- as well as Carol Browner, my energy advisor, and others in my administration -- looked at closely for more than a year. But the bottom line is this: Given our energy needs, in order to sustain economic growth and produce jobs, and keep our businesses competitive, we are going to need to harness traditional sources of fuel even as we ramp up production of new sources of renewable, homegrown energy. So today we're announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration, but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America's natural resources. Under the leadership of Secretary Salazar, we'll employ new technologies that reduce the impact of oil exploration. We'll protect areas that are vital to tourism, the environment, and our national security. And we'll be guided not by political ideology, but by scientific evidence. That's why my administration will consider potential areas for development in the mid and south Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico, while studying and protecting sensitive areas in the Arctic. That's why we'll continue to support development of leased areas off the North Slope of Alaska, while protecting Alaska's Bristol Bay. There will be those who strongly disagree with this decision, including those who say we should not open any new areas to drilling. But what I want to emphasize is that this announcement is part of a broader strategy that will move us from an economy that runs on fossil fuels and foreign oil to one that relies more on homegrown fuels and clean energy." "And for the sake of our planet and our energy independence, we need to begin the transition to cleaner fuels now." "Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists, between those who would claim drilling is a cure all and those who would claim it has no place." "For decades we've talked about the threat to future generations posed by our current system of energy --- even as we can see the mounting evidence of climate change from the Arctic Circle to the Gulf Coast." "So moving towards clean energy is about our security. It's also about our economy. And it's about the future of our planet. And what I hope is, is the policies that we've laid out -- from hybrid fleets to offshore drilling, from nuclear energy to wind energy -- underscores the seriousness with which my administration takes this challenge." " I know that we can come together to pass comprehensive energy and climate legislation that's going to foster new energy -- new industries, create millions of new jobs, protect our planet, and help us become more energy independent." [Remarks by The President on Energy Security at Andrews Air Force Base, March 31, 2010]
  • Affirmation April 2010: Obama Promotes Nuclear Energy 'For Those Of You Who Are Concerned About Climate Change.' "For those of you who are concerned about climate change, nuclear energy doesn't produce greenhouse gases." [Remarks by the President in a Discussion on Jobs and the Economy in Charlotte, North Carolina, April 2, 2010]
  • Exacerbation April 2010: Less Than Three Weeks Before BP Spill, Obama Says His Offshore Drilling Plan Is 'Not Risky,' Criticizes 'Environmentalists' Who Say 'Don't Drill Anywhere' Because 'Oil Rigs Today Generally Don't Cause Spills,' And Incorrectly Claims Spills During Katrina 'Didn't Come From The Oil Rigs.' "What we did was we said we're not going to have drilling a mile off the North Carolina coast or two miles off. But 50 miles off, 100 miles off, where it is appropriate and environmentally sound and not risky, we should allow exploration to begin taking place to see if there's certain reserves." "Now, here's the last thing I'll say about drilling, though, because what you have is, you have some environmentalists who just said, don't drill anywhere; and then you've got some of my friends on the Republican side who were saying, well, this is a nice first step but it's not enough -- you should open up everything. I don't agree with the notion that we shouldn't do anything. It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills. They are technologically very advanced. Even during Katrina, the spills didn't come from the oil rigs, they came from the refineries onshore." In fact, Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused 124 offshore spills for a total of 743,700 gallons. [Remarks by the President in a Discussion on Jobs and the Economy in Charlotte, North Carolina, April 2, 2010]
  • Affirmation May 2010: Obama Tells College Students Their Children Will Face Threats Like Climate Change. "You will raise your children at a time when threats like terrorism and climate change aren't confined within the borders of any one country." [President Obama at Michigan Commencement, May 1, 2010]
  • Affirmation May 2010: Speaking At Solyndra, Obama Says 'Climate Change Poses A Threat To Our Way Of Life' And 'We're Already Beginning To See Its Profound And Costly Impact.' "We all know the price we pay as a country as a result of how we produce and use -- and, yes, waste -- energy today. We've been talking about it for decades -- since the gas shortages of the 1970s. Our dependence on foreign oil endangers our security and our economy. Climate change poses a threat to our way of life -- in fact, we're already beginning to see its profound and costly impact." [Remarks by the President on the Economy at Solyndra HQ in Fremont, CA, May 26, 2010]
  • Promises June 2010: Obama Says 'Cash For Clunkers' Program 'Reduces Dangerous Carbon Pollution.' "Now, one of the steps we've taken to boost our economy is an initiative known as 'Cash for Clunkers.' Basically, this allows folks to trade in their older, less fuel-efficient cars for credits that go towards buying fewer, more -- newer, more fuel-efficient cars. This gives consumers a break, reduces dangerous carbon pollution and our dependence on foreign oil, and strengthens the American auto industry." [Remarks by the President on the Economy, June 2, 2010]
  • Affirmation June 2010: In Response To BP Oil Spill, Obama Mentions House Passage of 'Energy And Climate Bill' For Promoting 'Clean Energy.' "When I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill --- a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America's businesses." [Remarks by the President to the Nation on the BP Oil Spill, June 15, 2010]
  • Promises June 2010: In Toronto, Obama Says G-20 Commitment To 'Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies' Is 'One Of The Most Important Steps' To 'Address The Threat Of Climate Change.' "The G20 leaders renewed our commitment, made in Pittsburgh, to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. The United States has laid out our plans for achieving this goal, and we're urging our G20 partners to do so as well. This would be one of the most important steps we can take to create clean energy jobs, increase our energy security and address the threat of climate change." [Remarks by President Obama at G-20 Press Conference in Toronto, Canada, June 27, 2010]
  • Affirmation August 2010: Obama Praises NASCAR For 'Working To Offset Carbon Emissions.' "It's about what you're doing to protect our environment and help America become energy independent -- using solar energy, and working to offset carbon emissions, and even hiring a director of green innovation to take your commitment to the next level." [Remarks by the President Honoring 2008 NASCAR Sprint Cup Champion Jimmie Johnson, Aug. 17, 2010]
  • Affirmation September 2010: Obama Says Building Efficiency Would Help 'Save The Planet By Reducing Our Carbon Footprint.' "A related idea is what we can do to make our existing buildings and housing stock more energy efficient, because it turns out that we could probably cut about a third of our total energy use just on efficiency." "It would mean that over time we were helping to save the planet by reducing our carbon footprint." [Remarks by the President in Discussion on the Economy in Fairfax, Virginia, Sept. 13, 2010]
  • Affirmation November 2010: In Indonesia, Obama Discusses 'Health Of Our Planet' And Thanks Indonesia For 'Leadership In The Global Effort To Climate Change.' "America has a stake in an Indonesia that pursues sustainable development, because the way we grow will determine the quality of our lives and the health of our planet. And that's why we're developing clean energy technologies that can power industry and preserve Indonesia's precious natural resources -- and America welcomes your country's strong leadership in the global effort to combat climate change." [Remarks by the President at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Indonesia, Nov. 10, 2010]
  • Affirmation January 2011: Obama Says US And China 'Have A Responsibility To Combat Climate Change' As Largest 'Emitters of Greenhouse Gases' By Building On International Negotiations. "We're moving ahead with our U.S.-China clean energy research center and joint ventures in wind power, smart grids and cleaner coal. I believe that as the two largest energy consumers and emitters of greenhouse gases, the United States and China have a responsibility to combat climate change by building on the progress at Copenhagen and Cancun, and showing the way to a clean energy future. And President Hu indicated that he agrees with me on this issue." [Press Conference with President Obama and President Hu of the People's Republic of China, Jan. 19, 2011]
  • Avoidance January 2011: Obama Asks Congress To Reduce Oil Subsidies And Support Clean Energy To 'Protect Our Planet' And 'Break Our Dependence On Oil.' "We'll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology -- an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people." "With more research and incentives, we can break our dependence on oil with biofuels, and become the first country to have a million electric vehicles on the road by 2015. We need to get behind this innovation. And to help pay for it, I'm asking Congress to eliminate the billions in taxpayer dollars we currently give to oil companies. I don't know if -- I don't know if you've noticed, but they're doing just fine on their own. So instead of subsidizing yesterday's energy, let's invest in tomorrow's." [State of the Union address, Jan. 25, 2011]
  • Affirmation February 2011: Obama Says 'Smart Meters' Will 'Reduce The Carbon Pollution That Causes Climate Change.' "Now, let me explain what's going on with these smart meters." "And all this information will help increase renewable energy generation, provide support for plug-in electric vehicles, and reduce the carbon pollution that causes climate change." [Remarks by the President on Recovery Act Funding for Smart Grid Technology, Feb. 3, 2011]
  • Affirmation February 2011: Obama Calls For Senate Passage Of 'Clean Energy' Bill, Praises 'Clean Coal Technology,' Avoids Any Mention Of Cap-And-Trade, Carbon, Or Climate. "And I also believe that such a comprehensive piece of legislation that is taking place right now in Congress is going to be critical. That's going to finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy in America -- legislation that will make the best use of resources we have in abundance, through clean coal technology, safe nuclear power, sustainably grown biofuels, and energy we harness from the wind, waves, and sun. The House has already acted and passed such legislation and the Senate is on the way." [Remarks by the President on Recovery Act Funding for Smart Grid Technology, Feb. 22, 2011]
  • Affirmation March 2011: In DC, Obama Tell Students That 'Carbon Pollution' From Oil Is 'Threatening Our Climate.' "We've got to discover and produce cleaner, renewable sources of energy that also produce less carbon pollution, which is threatening our climate." [Remarks by President Obama On America's Energy Security, March 30, 2011]
  • Affirmation May 2011: Obama Tells UN That 'The Danger Posed By Climate Change Cannot Be Denied' So 'The Days When America Dragged Its Feet On This Issue Are Over,' Promises 'Deep Cuts In Emissions' For 2020 And 2050 Goals. "And now is the time for all of us to take our share of responsibility for a global response to global challenges. Now, if we are honest with ourselves, we need to admit that we are not living up to that responsibility. Consider the course that we're on if we fail to confront the status quo: Extremists sowing terror in pockets of the world; protracted conflicts that grind on and on; genocide; mass atrocities; more nations with nuclear weapons; melting ice caps and ravaged populations; persistent poverty and pandemic disease. I say this not to sow fear, but to state a fact: The magnitude of our challenges has yet to be met by the measure of our actions." "The danger posed by climate change cannot be denied. Our responsibility to meet it must not be deferred. If we continue down our current course, every member of this Assembly will see irreversible changes within their borders. Our efforts to end conflicts will be eclipsed by wars over refugees and resources. Development will be devastated by drought and famine. Land that human beings have lived on for millennia will disappear. Future generations will look back and wonder why we refused to act; why we failed to pass on -- why we failed to pass on an environment that was worthy of our inheritance. And that is why the days when America dragged its feet on this issue are over. We will move forward with investments to transform our energy economy, while providing incentives to make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. We will press ahead with deep cuts in emissions to reach the goals that we set for 2020, and eventually 2050. We will continue to promote renewable energy and efficiency, and share new technologies with countries around the world. And we will seize every opportunity for progress to address this threat in a cooperative effort with the entire world. And those wealthy nations that did so much damage to the environment in the 20th century must accept our obligation to lead. But responsibility does not end there. While we must acknowledge the need for differentiated responses, any effort to curb carbon emissions must include the fast-growing carbon emitters who can do more to reduce their air pollution without inhibiting growth. And any effort that fails to help the poorest nations both adapt to the problems that climate change have already wrought and help them travel a path of clean development simply will not work. It's hard to change something as fundamental as how we use energy. I know that. It's even harder to do so in the midst of a global recession. Certainly, it will be tempting to sit back and wait for others to move first. But we cannot make this journey unless we all move forward together. As we head into Copenhagen, let us resolve to focus on what each of us can do for the sake of our common future." [Remarks by the President to the United Nations General Assembly, May 25, 2011]
  • Avoidance May 2011: Obama Mentions Tornadoes And Mississippi Flooding At White House, But Not Climate Change. "Most recently, as head of Northern Command, Sandy's been responsible for the defense of our homeland and support to states and communities in times of crisis, such as the recent tornadoes and the floods along the Mississippi." [Remarks by the President in Department of Defense Personnel Announcements, May 30, 2011]
  • Affirmation July 2011: In DC, Obama Says 'Using Less Oil' Means 'We're Reducing The Carbon Pollution That Threatens Our Climate.' "In the short term, we need to increase safe and responsible oil production here at home to meet our current energy needs." "But while we're at it, we need to get rid of, I think, the $4 billion in subsidies we provide to oil and gas companies every year at a time when they're earning near-record profits, and put that money toward clean energy research, which would really make a big difference." "This agreement on fuel standards represents the single most important step we've ever taken as a nation to reduce our dependence on foreign oil." "Using less oil also means our cars will produce fewer emissions. So when your kids are biking around the neighborhood, they'll be breathing less pollution and fewer toxins. It means we're doing more to protect our air and water. And it means we're reducing the carbon pollution that threatens our climate." [Remarks by the President On Fuel Efficiency Standards, July 29, 2011]
  • Avoidance August 2011: President Obama Delivers A Statement On Hurricane Irene At White House, But Does Not Mention Climate Change. "First, let me say that this is a storm that has claimed lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who've lost loved ones and those whose lives have been affected by the storm. You need to know that America will be with you in your hour of need." The impact of Hurricane Irene was intensified by oceanic warming, sea level rise, greater atmospheric vapor, and increased extreme precipitation in the Northeast connected to global warming. [President Obama Delivers a Statement on Hurricane Irene, Aug. 28, 2011]
  • Avoidance September 2011: In NJ, Obama Addresses Hurricane Irene Victims, But Does Not Mention Climate Change. [President Obama to Hurricane Irene Victims: The Entire Country is Behind You, Paterson NJ, Sept. 4, 2011]
  • Affirmation September 2011: At CGI, Obama Says 'Climate Change' Is Something That 'People Here Are Deeply Concerned About.' "We talk about climate change -- something that, obviously, people here are deeply concerned about. Talking to the CEO of Southwest Airlines, they estimate that if we put in the new generation of GPS air traffic control, we would save 15 percent in fuel costs. "Reduce fuel consumption by 15 percent, Mr. President." And think about what that would do, not only to potentially lower the cost of a ticket -- maybe they could start giving out peanuts again. (Laughter .) But think what it would do in terms of taking those pollutants out of our air." [Remarks by President Obama at the Clinton Global Initiative, Sept. 21, 2011]
  • Affirmation September 2011: At UN, President Obama Says 'Our Commitment To The Next Generation Demands' That 'All The Major Economies Here Today Follow Through On The Commitments That Were Made' In Copenhagen And Cancun. "To preserve our planet, we must not put off action that climate change demands. We have to tap the power of science to save those resources that are scarce. And together, we must continue our work to build on the progress made in Copenhagen and Cancun, so that all the major economies here today follow through on the commitments that were made. Together, we must work to transform the energy that powers our economies, and support others as they move down that path. That is what our commitment to the next generation demands." [Remarks by President Obama in Address to the United Nations General Assembly, Sept. 21, 2011]
  • Affirmation October 2011: In Address To US From South Korea, Obama Pledges Copenhagen Success 'That Leads To Immediate Action To Reduce Carbon Pollution.' "As the two largest consumers and producers of energy, we developed a host of new clean energy initiatives with China, and our two nations agreed to work toward a successful outcome at the upcoming climate summit in Copenhagen -- an outcome that leads to immediate action to reduce carbon pollution." [Weekly Address: President Obama's Overseas Trip Focused on Better Relations with Asia and Creating Jobs at Home, Oct. 4, 2011]
  • Affirmation November 2011: In France, Obama Says 'Phasing Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies' Is 'Perhaps The Single-Most Important Step We Can Take In The Near Term To Fight Climate Change.' Obama tells reporters after meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris, France: "We agreed to keep phasing out fossil fuel subsidies -- perhaps the single-most important step we can take in the near term to fight climate change and create clean-energy economies." He also mentions drought in Africa but does not connect it to climate change. [Press Conference by President Obama after G20 Summit, Cannes, France, Nov. 4, 2011]
  • Affirmation November 2011: In Hawaii, Obama Says 'The Effort To Phase Out Fossil Fuel Subsidies' Would Be A 'Huge Step' Toward 'Fighting Climate Change, Which Is A Threat To Both The Beauty And The Prosperity' Of The Asia-Pacific Region. At a press conference following a forum of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation nations, President Obama says, "And we're moving ahead with the effort to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. This would be a huge step toward creating clean energy economies and fighting climate change, which is a threat to both the beauty and the prosperity of the region." [APEC News Conference by President Obama, Kapolei, Hawaii, Nov. 14, 2011]
  • Affirmation November 2011: In Australia, President Obama Connects Carbon Emissions And 'Real Problem' Of Climate Change. "With respect to carbon emissions, I share the view of your Prime Minister (Julia Gillard) and most scientists in the world that climate change is a real problem and that human activity is contributing to it, and that we all have a responsibility to find ways to reduce our carbon emissions." [Remarks by President Obama and Prime Minister Gillard of Australia in Joint Press Conference, Nov. 16, 2011]
  • Promises November 2011: In An Address To The Australian Parliament, President Obama States That Climate Change 'Cannot Be Denied' And Can Be Seen 'In The Stronger Fires, The Devastating Floods, The Pacific Islands Confronting Rising Seas.' "And we need growth that is sustainable. This includes the clean energy that creates green jobs and combats climate change, which cannot be denied. We see it in the stronger fires, the devastating floods, the Pacific islands confronting rising seas. And as countries with large carbon footprints, the United States and Australia have a special responsibility to lead." [Remarks By President Obama to the Australian Parliament, Nov. 17, 2011]
  • Affirmation January 2012: Obama Praises EPA Staff For Fuel Economy Standards 'That Dramatically Reduces Pollution That Contributes To Climate Change.' "We established new fuel economy standards, a historic accomplishment that is going to slash oil consumption by about 12 billion barrels, dramatically reduces pollution that contributes to climate change, and saves consumers thousands of dollars at the pump, which they can then go spend on something else." [Remarks by the President to EPA Staff, Jan. 10, 2012]
  • Affirmation January 2012: In SOTU Address, Obama Blames Congress For Inaction On Climate Change. "The differences in this chamber may be too deep right now to pass a comprehensive plan to fight climate change." [State of the Union Address, Jan. 24, 2012]
  • Avoidance January 2012: In Iowa, Obama Mentions Cedar Rapids Flooding, But Not Climate Change. [Obama Cedar Rapids, IA Speech, Jan. 25, 2012]
  • Affirmation January 2012: In CO, Obama Says His DOD Clean Energy Policy Will 'Prevent Climate Change.' "And I promise you, the Department of Defense is not just embracing clean energy because it feels good. (Laughter.) We got some tough-minded folks. Our number-one priority is always the security of this nation. But what our military understands is that if we're smart on energy, that saves DOD budgets that allow them to do a whole bunch of other things. Leading on this issue is the right thing to do. Yes, it's the right thing to do to prevent climate change. (Applause.) Yes, it's the right thing to do in terms of reducing pollution. But it's also important for our national security." [Remarks by President Obama On American Energy In Aurora, CO, Jan. 26, 2012]
  • Promises February 2012: WH Budget 'Eliminates Inefficient Fossil Fuel Subsidies' That 'Undermine Efforts To Address The Threat Of Climate Change.' "As we continue to pursue clean energy technologies that will support future economic growth, we should not devote scarce resources to subsidizing the use of fossil fuels produced by some of the largest, most profitable companies in the world. That is why the Budget eliminates inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that impede investment in clean energy sources and undermine efforts to address the threat of climate change." [Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Of The U.S. Government, Feb. 13, 2012]
  • Promises February 2012: WH Budget Fights Climate Change In Developing Countries. "The Administration continues to promote global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and reduce vulnerabilities in key sectors to climate-related events by supporting clean energy, combating deforestation, and building climate-resilience in developing countries." [Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Of The U.S. Government, Feb. 13, 2012]
  • Exacerbation February 2012: In Miami Address On Gas Prices And Energy Policy, Obama Avoids Any Mention Of Climate Change, Says 'We're Not Going To Transition Out Of Oil Any Time Soon.' "We're not going to transition out of oil anytime soon. And that's why under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That's why we have a record number of oilrigs operating right now -- more working oil and gas rigs than the rest of the world combined. Over the last three years my administration has approved dozens of new pipelines, including from Canada. And we've opened millions of acres for oil and gas exploration. All told we plan to make available more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources from Alaska to the Gulf of Mexico. Last week, we announced the next steps towards further energy exploration in the Arctic. Earlier this week, we joined Mexico in an agreement that will make more than 1.5 million acres in the Gulf available for exploration and production, which contains an estimated 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas." "Anybody who tells you that we can drill our way out of this problem doesn’t know what they're talking about or just isn’t telling you the truth. Young people especially understand this, because, you know, it's interesting. When I talk to Malia and Sasha -- you guys are so much more aware of conserving our resources and thinking about the planet." [Remarks by the President on Energy, Feb. 23, 2012]
  • Exacerbation March 2012: In NC Address On Gas Prices And Energy Policy, Obama Avoids Any Mention Of Climate Change, Says Increased Drilling Is A 'Key Part Of Our Energy Strategy.' In Mount Holly, NC: "A key part of our energy strategy has been to increase safe, responsible oil production here at home. Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than any time in the last eight years." [Remarks by the President on Energy, March 7, 2012]
  • Exacerbation March 2012: In MD Address On Gas Prices And Energy Policy, Obama Avoids Any Mention Of Climate Change While Promoting Increased Drilling. "First of all, we are drilling. Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. (Applause.) Any time. That's a fact. That's a fact. We've quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high. I want everybody to listen to that -- we have more oil rigs operating now than ever. That's a fact." "Yes, develop as much oil and gas as we can, but also develop wind power and solar power and biofuels." [Remarks by the President on Energy, March 15, 2012]
  • Affirmation March 2012: In South Korea, Obama Praises Nuclear Energy That 'Helps Cut The Carbon Pollution That Contributes To Climate Change.' " And, of course, it's the energy -- the clean energy that helps cut the carbon pollution that contributes to climate change. ... And with rising oil prices and a warming climate, nuclear energy will only become more important." [Remarks by President Obama at Hankuk University, March 26, 2012]
  • Affirmation March 2012: At A Campaign Event In VT, President Obama Says That Romney Has A 'Vision Of America... That Denies Something Like Climate Change, Rejects It...' "And what we've witnessed lately is a fundamentally different vision of America and who we are. It's an America that says -- or it's a vision that says that America is about looking out for yourself, not for other people. It's an America that denies something like climate change, rejects it; that takes a position on immigration that would have been unthinkable in either party just a few years ago; that when it comes to figuring out how do we pay for the investments that we need to grow, basically says those of us who are doing best don't have to do a thing and we will balance that budget on the backs of the poor and seniors, and at the expense of basic research and basic science and investments in clean energy and increasing the cost of student loans for students." [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Burlington, VT, March 30, 2012]
  • Affirmation March 2012: At A Campaign Event In VT, President Obama States The Need For Energy Policy That Meets 'Long-Term Challenges That We're Facing In Terms Of Energy Independence And Climate Change.' "We still have to have an energy policy that reflects both the short-term challenges that people are feeling, the pinch that they're feeling at the pump, but also the long-term challenges that we're facing in terms of energy independence and climate change." [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Burlington, VT, March 30, 2012]
  • Avoidance March 2012: At A Campaign Event In VT, Obama Mentions Vermont Flooding But Does Not Connect It To Climate Change. [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in in Burlington, VT, March 30, 2012]
  • Affirmation April 2012: Obama Says Mexico Is A 'Real Leader' On 'Climate Change.' "We're expanding cooperation to create clean energy jobs and combat climate change -- an area in which President Calderon and Mexico have been a real leader." [Joint Press Conference By President Obama, Calderon, Harper, April 2, 2012]
  • Affirmation April 2012: Joint North American Statement Pledges 'To Continue Our Efforts To Advance A Lasting Global Solution To The Challenge Of Climate Change.' "We pledge to continue our efforts to advance a lasting global solution to the challenge of climate change. We are pleased with the outcome of the climate conference in Durban, with respect to both operationalizing the Cancun agreements and laying the groundwork for a new legal agreement applicable to all Parties from 2020, support the activation of the Green Climate Fund, and underline the importance of climate finance and investment in the context of meaningful mitigation. We plan to work together, including through the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, to secure a successful outcome at the 18th U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties in Doha, Qatar. We continue to advance the transition to a clean energy economy and cooperate to reduce global rates of deforestation and land degradation. We also intend to deepen our trilateral cooperation and work with other interested partners to accelerate efforts aimed at reducing emissions of "short-lived climate pollutants," noting the recently launched Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-lived Climate Pollutants in which we are all actively engaged. Reducing our emissions of these substances, which include methane, black carbon, and many hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), offers significant opportunities to reduce the rate of global warming in the near term, in the context of our broader efforts to address climate change, while also yielding many health, agricultural productivity, and energy security benefits." [Joint Statement by North American Leaders, Washington DC, April 2, 2012]
  • Affirmation April 2012: White House Statement After Brazilian President Visit Welcomes Durban Outcome On 'Dealing With Climate Change.' "They welcomed the outcomes of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change held in Durban, in December 2011, which reached a comprehensive and balanced result. They further highlighted the importance of the multilateral system in dealing with climate change through effective implementation of the outcomes from Durban." [Joint Statement by President Obama and Brazilian President Rousseff, April 9, 2012]
  • Avoidance April 2012: Obama Mentions Ohio Flooding, But Not Climate Change. [Obama Elyra, OH speech, April 18, 2012]
  • Avoidance April 2012: In Earth Day Statement, Obama Says 'Pollution Has Been Greatly Reduced' And Promotes Fuel Economy Standards Will 'Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions' But Does Not Mention Climate Change. "Today, our air and water are cleaner, pollution has been greatly reduced, and Americans everywhere are living in a healthier environment. While we have made remarkable progress in protecting our health and our natural heritage, we know our work is not yet finished. Last July, my Administration proposed the toughest fuel economy standards in our Nation's history -- standards that will save families money at the pump, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and significantly reduce our dependence on oil." [Earth Day Proclamation, April 20, 2012]
  • Affirmation April 2012: Obama Tells Jimmy Fallon That Cutting Oil Subsidies And 'Investing In Clean Energy Sources Of The Future: Solar, Wind, Biofuels' Is 'Good For The Planet' And 'Helps Us Deal With Climate Change.' From an interview on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon: FALLON: "If there was like a magical thing that you could do. And just something -- doesn't have to be this -- anything that you could just pass just by snapping your fingers -- it doesn't have to go through Congress -- that would change the world, what would it be?" OBAMA: "You know, along with getting our education system right, another big piece of business is energy. We have to make sure that we're investing in -- we've got to make sure that we're investing in the clean energy sources of the future: solar, wind, biofuels. Our oil production is higher than it's been in eight years. Our oil imports are lower than they've been in thirteen. So we're producing a lot of oil, but we're still subsidizing the oil industry when they're making billions. And for us to take some of that money and invest in electric cars, investing in new sources of fuel, that's good for the planet. It helps us deal with climate change. It's good for our economy. That's what ultimately is going to prevent these constant gas price spikes that end up hurting so many people." [NBC, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, April 24, 2012]
  • Affirmation April 2012: In Rolling Stone Interview, Obama Says 'I Will Be Very Clear in Voicing My Belief That We're Going To Have To Take Further Steps To Deal With Climate Change In A Serious Way.' "James Hansen is a scientist who has done an enormous amount not only to understand climate change, but also to help publicize the issue. I have the utmost respect for scientists. But it's important to understand that Canada is going to be moving forward with tar sands, regardless of what we do. That's their national policy, they're pursuing it. With respect to Keystone, my goal has been to have an honest process, and I have adamantly objected to Congress trying to circumvent a process that was well-established not just under Democratic administrations, but also under Republican administrations. The reason that Keystone got so much attention is not because that particular pipeline is a make-or-break issue for climate change, but because those who have looked at the science of climate change are scared and concerned about a general lack of sufficient movement to deal with the problem. Frankly, I'm deeply concerned that internationally, we have not made as much progress as we need to make. Within the constraints of this Congress, we've tried to do a whole range of things, administratively, that are making a difference -- doubling fuel-efficiency standards on cars is going to take a whole lot of carbon out of our atmosphere. We're going to continue to push on energy efficiency, and renewable energy standards, and the promotion of green energy. But there is no doubt that we have a lot more work to do. Part of the challenge over these past three years has been that people's number-one priority is finding a job and paying the mortgage and dealing with high gas prices. In that environment, it's been easy for the other side to pour millions of dollars into a campaign to debunk climate-change science. I suspect that over the next six months, this is going to be a debate that will become part of the campaign, and I will be very clear in voicing my belief that we're going to have to take further steps to deal with climate change in a serious way. That there's a way to do it that is entirely compatible with strong economic growth and job creation -- that taking steps, for example, to retrofit buildings all across America with existing technologies will reduce our power usage by 15 or 20 percent. That's an achievable goal, and we should be getting started now." Interview took place in March, published in April. [Obama interview in Rolling Stone, April 25, 2012]
  • Affirmation April 2012: White House Says US And Japan 'Share A Mutual Commitment To Address The Global Impact Of Climate Change.' "We share a mutual commitment to address the global impact of climate change." [U.S.-Japan Joint Statement, April 30, 2012]
  • Avoidance May 2012: Meeting With Corporate Leaders, Obama Says Settling 'Price Of Carbon' Would 'Maximize The Benefits Of Clean Energy Investment,' Avoids Climate Change. "Now, I will tell you that in the green energy discussion, the clean energy discussion, there was also an acknowledgment that we're not going to be able to maximize the benefits of clean energy investment unless we get settled how we're dealing with carbon and the price of carbon." [Remarks by the President and Q&A at the Closing Session of the Forum on Jobs and Economic Growth, May 14, 2012]
  • Affirmation May 2012: In China, Obama Mentions 'Scourge Of Climate Change.' "Today, we have a positive, constructive and comprehensive relationship that opens the door to partnership on the key global issues of our time -- economic recovery and the development of clean energy; stopping the spread of nuclear weapons and the scourge of climate change; the promotion of peace and security in Asia and around the globe. All of these issues will be on the agenda tomorrow when I meet with President Hu." [Remarks by President Obama at Town Hall Meeting with Future Chinese Leaders, May 14, 2012]
  • Affirmation May 2012: In DC, Obama Mentions 'Climate Change That Increases The Risk Of Drought And Famine' In Africa. "On the other hand, we see an Africa that still faces huge hurdles: stark inequalities; most Africans still living on less than $2 a day; climate change that increases the risk of drought and famine." [Remarks by the President at Symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security, May 18, 2012]
  • Affirmation May 2012: Joint Statement From G8 Leaders At Camp David: 'We Agree To Continue Our Efforts To Address Climate Change' And 'Recognize The Need For Increased Mitigation Ambition' Before 2020, 'Doing Our Part To Limit Effectively The Increase In Global Temperature Below 2C Above Pre-Industrial Levels, Consistent With Science,' Looking For A 2015 'Outcome With Legal Force Applicable To All Parties.' "We agree to continue our efforts to address climate change and recognize the need for increased mitigation ambition in the period to 2020, with a view to doing our part to limit effectively the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, consistent with science. We strongly support the outcome of the 17th Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Durban to implement the Cancun agreements and the launch of the Durban Platform, which we welcome as a significant breakthrough toward the adoption by 2015 of a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force applicable to all Parties, developed and developing countries alike." [G8 Camp David Declaration, May 19, 2012]
  • Affirmation May 2012: At Camp David, Obama Mentions 'U.S.-Led Coalition To Address Climate Change' By 'Reducing Short-Lived Pollutants' After G8 Summit. "We discussed the importance of pursuing an all-of-the-above strategy for energy security in a safe and sustainable way. Leaders agreed to join a new U.S.-led coalition to address climate change, in part by reducing short-lived pollutants. And in the face of increasing disruptions in the supply of oil, we agreed that we must closely monitor global energy markets." [Statement by President Obama at Closing of G8 Summit, May 19, 2012]
  • Affirmation May 2012: During The Air Force Academy Commencement In CO, President Obama Remarks That He Is Eager To Share The Responsibility Of 'Combating Climate Change' With 'Peaceful, Responsible Emerging Powers.' "As President, I've made it clear the United States does not fear the rise of peaceful, responsible emerging powers -- we welcome them. Because when more nations step up and contribute to peace and security, that doesn't undermine American power, it enhances it. And when other people in other countries see that we're rooting for their success, it builds trust and partnerships that can advance our interests for generations. It makes it easier to meet common challenges, from preventing the spread of nuclear weapons to combating climate change." [Remarks by the President at the Air Force Academy Commencement, May 23, 2012]
  • Affirmation May 2012: On Campaign Trail In CA, Obama Calls For $4B Cut In Oil Subsidies For 'Clean Energy Future' On Behalf Of 'The Safety Of Our Planet And Doing Something About Climate Change.' "And imagine what we could keep on doing if we weren't spending $4 billion a year on subsidies for the oil companies, and we were investing that in clean energy, we're investing it in energy efficiency. (Applause.) It is time for us to end subsidies for a mature industry that's rarely been more profitable. Let's double down on the clean energy future that's never been more promising for our economy and for our security and for the safety of our planet and doing something about climate change." [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Redwood City, CA, May 24, 2012]
  • Affirmation June 2012: At A Campaign Event In NYC, President Obama Says That Doubling Fuel-Efficiency Standards Is Part Of 'Making Sure That We're Also Saving The Planet... And Doing Something About Climate Change.' "We have doubled fuel-efficiency standards on cars, and doubled the amount of clean energy to make sure that we're not only creating jobs and reducing dependence on foreign oil, but making sure that we're also saving the planet in the process and doing something about climate change." [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event, June 6, 2012]
  • Affirmation June 2012: On Campaign Trail In Philadelphia, Obama Says 'Clean Energy' Investments 'Make Sure That We're Doing Something About Climate Change.' "So the notion that we would now shortchange our investments in science and basic research, the possible cures for cancer or Alzheimer's, or the clean energy that can make sure that we're doing something about climate change and saving money for families -- that's not the answer rolling back those investments." [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Philadelphia, PA, June 12, 2012]
  • Affirmation June 2012: On Campaign Trail In Philadelphia, Obama Mentions McCain And He 'Agreed On The Existence Of Climate Change.' "I said before, back in 2008, I had some strong disagreements with John McCain, but there were certain baselines that we both agreed on. We both agreed on things like immigration reform. We agreed on the existence of climate change. We agreed on the need to control campaign finance spending." [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Philadelphia, PA, June 12, 2012]
  • Affirmation June 2012: In Mexico, Obama Praises President Calderon's Actions on Climate Change After Hosting The G20. "Mexico is the first Latin American country to host a G20 summit, and this has been another example of Mexico playing a larger role in world affairs, from the global economy to climate change to development." [Remarks by President Obama After G20 Summit, June 20, 2012]
  • Affirmation June 2012: At Private-Residence Campaign Event In MA, President Obama States That The Stakes In The 2012 Elections Are Higher Because 'Back In 2008... The Nominee From The Other Party Believed In Climate Change.' "But in some ways, this election is more important than 2008. In some ways, the stakes are higher. Because back in 2008, there was some overlap between Democrats and Republicans on some important issues. The nominee from the other party believed in climate change, believed in campaign finance reform, believed in immigration reform. And what we've seen in the face of probably the worst financial crisis and economic crisis of our lifetimes is that the Republican Party has moved in a fundamentally different direction, so that on every issue we have fundamental choices that are at stake that will determine not just how we do tomorrow or the next day, but for the next 10 years or the next 20 years." [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event, June 25, 2012]
  • Avoidance June 2012: In CO, Obama Tours Wildfire Damage, Does Not Mention Climate Change. "I'm here in Colorado Springs, visiting some of the devastating fires that have been taking place over the last several days." "We never know when it might be our community that's threatened, and it's important that we're there for them." [WEEKLY ADDRESS: An All-Hands-On-Deck Approach to Fighting the Colorado Wildfires, June 30, 2012]
  • Affirmation July 2012: At Private-Residence Campaign Event In CA, President Obama States That We Should 'Have Smart Regulations In Place That Are Going To Deal With Issues Like Climate Change.' At a campaign event on July 23, 2012, President Obama stated: "I've got a different theory. It's one that says, yes, we've got to reduce our deficits and bring down our debt, and we've got to do it in a balanced way by making sure that those of us who've been blessed by this country are giving back a little bit more and going back to the Clinton tax rates; that we're cutting out spending that we don't need, but we're also still investing in basic research and science; that we're investing in infrastructure; that we're investing in the education of every kid and not just some; that we have smart regulations in place that are going to deal with issues like climate change and that are going to make sure that our financial system operates in a transparent and effective way." [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event, July 23, 2012]
  • Avoidance August 2012: At White House Meeting On Drought, Obama Does Not Mention Climate Change. [Obama meets with White House Rural Council on drought, Aug. 7, 2012]
  • Avoidance August 2012: Mentioning 'Worse Than Normal' Heat, Obama Addresses Drought. "Today, I want to talk about something that most of you know already -- it's hot outside. It's really hot. And if this feels worse than normal, that's because it is. We just found out that the month of July was the warmest month on record -- warmer than any other month since we began keeping track more than a century ago. But the heat is just half the story. We're also suffering through one of the worst droughts in over 50 years. More than a fifth of this country is experiencing what we call "extreme" or "exceptional" drought -- with states like Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas getting hit harder than most." [WEEKLY ADDRESS: All-Hands-On-Deck Response to the Drought, Aug. 11, 2012]
  • Affirmation August 2012: At Campaign Event, Obama Says Climate Change Is A 'Big Issue' That Is 'Going To Affect Malia And Sasha' And Notes Campaign Promise To 'Reduce The Carbon Pollution That Threatens Our Planet.' At a campaign rally in Ames, Iowa, Obama said: "The decisions we make as a country on big issues like the economy and jobs and taxes and education and energy and war and climate change..all these decisions will directly affect your life in very personal ways. And I've got to say, this is something I'm acutely aware of when I make these decisions, because they're decisions that are going to affect Malia and Sasha...You believed four years ago that we could use less foreign oil and reduce the carbon pollution that threatens our planet. And in just four years, we've doubled -- doubled -- the generation of clean, renewable energy like wind and solar...We developed new fuel standards so that your car will get nearly 55 miles per gallon by the middle of the next decade. (Applause.) That's going to save you money at the pump. That will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by a level roughly equivalent to a year's worth of emissions from all the cars in the world. (Applause.) Today, America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in nearly 20 years. We're on track to emit fewer greenhouse gases this year than we have in nearly 20 years...Governor Romney wants to pass a new $5 trillion tax cut targeted towards the wealthiest Americans. That's not going to cut our debt. Ignoring inequality doesn't make it go away. Denying climate change won't make it stop. Those things won't make for a brighter future. They won't make your future strong." [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Ames, IA, Aug. 28, 2012]
  • Affirmation August 2012: Obama Press Release Says Newly Finalized CAFE Standards 'Represent Historic Progress To Reduce Carbon Pollution And Address Climate Change.' In a press release, the Obama administration specifically mentioned CAFE standards' impact on climate change: "The standards also represent historic progress to reduce carbon pollution and address climate change. Combined, the Administration's standards will cut greenhouse gas emissions from cars and light trucks in half by 2025, reducing emissions by 6 billion metric tons over the life of the program -- more than the total amount of carbon dioxide emitted by the United States in 2010." [Obama press release, Aug. 28, 2012]
  • Avoidance September 2012: Obama Tours Isaac Damage, Does Not Mention Climate Change. "As you can see, there has been enormous devastation in St. John's Parish, and that's not the only place that's been hard hit. We've also seen enormous damage in Plaquemines Parish and in other parts of Louisiana and Mississippi." [Remarks by the President After Touring Flood Damage from Hurricane Isaac, Sept. 3, 2012]
  • Affirmation September 2012: In Response To National Academy Of Sciences Questionnaire, Obama Calls Climate Change 'One Of The Biggest Issues Of Our Generation,' But Avoids Specifics, Saying 'There Is Still More To Be Done.' "Climate change is the one of the biggest issues of this generation, and we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits. Since taking office I have established historic standards limiting greenhouse gas emissions from our vehicles for the first time in history. My administration has made unprecedented investments in clean energy, proposed the first-ever carbon pollution limits for new fossil-fuel-fired power plants and reduced carbon emissions within the Federal Government. Since I took office, the U.S. is importing an average of 3 million fewer barrels of oil every day, and our dependence on foreign oil is at a 20-year low. We are also showing international leadership on climate change, reaching historic agreements to set emission limits in unison with all major developed and developing nations. There is still more to be done to address this global problem. I will continue efforts to reduce our dependence on oil and lower our greenhouse gas emissions while creating an economy built to last. [Obama, Science Debate 2012, Sept. 4, 2012]
  • Affirmation September 2012: Promoting Oil Drilling, 'Clean Coal,' And 'Hundred-Year Supply Of Natural Gas,' Obama Says 'Climate Change Is Not A Hoax' Because 'Droughts And Floods And Wildfires Are Not A Joke' But 'A Threat To Our Children's Future.' "We've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years, and we'll open more. But unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country's energy plan or endanger our coastlines or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers. We're offering a better path. We're offering a better path where we -- a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal, where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and trucks, where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy, where we develop a hundred-year supply of natural gas that's right beneath our feet. If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone. And yes, my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet, because climate change is not a hoax. More droughts and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They are a threat to our children's future." [President Obama's Convention Speech, Sept. 6, 2012]
  • Avoidance October 2012: At First Presidential Debate, Obama Promotes 'Oil And Natural Gas Production' And 'Energy Sources Of The Future, Like Wind And Solar And Biofuels,' But Avoids Any Mention Of Climate Change. "On energy, Governor Romney and I, we both agree that we've got to boost American energy production, and oil and natural gas production are higher than they've been in years. But I also believe that we've got to look at the energy sources of the future, like wind and solar and biofuels, and make those investments." "The oil industry gets $4 billion a year in corporate welfare. Basically, they get deductions that those small businesses that Governor Romney refers to, they don't get. Now, does anybody think that ExxonMobil needs some extra money, when they're making money every time you go to the pump? Why wouldn't we want to eliminate that?" [First Presidential Debate, Oct. 3, 2012]
  • Avoidance October 2012: In Campaign Speech In CO, Obama Promotes Plan To ‘Control More Of Our Own Energy’ With Renewable Energy, ‘Clean Coal,’ And ‘Hundred-Year Supply Of Natural Gas,’ Avoids Climate Change. “If you want to be president, you owe the American people the truth.” “I want to control more of our own energy. You know, after 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, your cars and trucks will be going twice as far on a gallon of gas. We’ve doubled the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries. The United States of America today is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last two decades. So now you’ve got a choice between a plant that reverses this progress or one that builds on it. You know, last night my opponent says he refuses to close the loophole that gives big oil companies $4 billion in taxpayer subsidies every year. Now, we’ve got a better plan where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal and the good jobs that come with them, where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and our trucks, where construction workers are retrofitting homes and factories so they waste less energy, and we can develop a hundred-year supply of natural gas that creates hundreds of thousands of jobs and, by the way, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020. That will be good for our economy, that will be good for our environment, that will be good for Colorado, that will be good for America, that’s what we're fighting for, that’s why I’m running for a second term as President of the United States.” [Obama Rally in Denver, Oct. 4, 2012]
  • Affirmation October 2012: October 2012: In Campaign Speech In SF, Obama Says Climate Impacts Are ‘A Threat To Our Kids’ Future.’ “We can create more jobs controlling our own energy. After 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, your cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. That's good for our economy. It’s good for our national security. It’s good for our environment. And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the last two decades. So we don’t want to reverse that progress. We’ve got to build on it. My plan would cut our oil imports in half. And we can invest in the clean energy that’s creating thousands of jobs all across America right now -- wind power and solar power and clean coal, fuel-efficient cars and long-lasting batteries. We’re producing oil and natural gas at record rates. But we have to make sure that we’re also grabbing for the future. We can’t cede that to somebody else. And unlike my opponent, I will not allow oil companies to collect another $4 billion every single year in taxpayer-funded corporate welfare. I’m not going to let China win the race for clean energy technologies. I want to see those technologies developed right here in California, right here in the United States of America. And as I said at the convention, yes, my plan will continue to reduce carbon pollution because climate change is not a hoax. Droughts, floods, wildfires -- they’re not a joke. They’re a threat to our kids’ future.” [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in San Francisco, Oct. 8, 2012]
  • Affirmation October 2012: October 2012: At Ohio State Campaign Speech, Obama Tells Students That Climate Impacts ‘Are A Threat To Your Future.’ “I believe we can create more jobs by controlling more of our own energy. And after 30 years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, your cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. (Applause.) And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in two decades. So now it’s time to move forward. My plan would cut our oil imports in half, and invest in the clean energy that’s creating thousands of jobs all across Ohio and America right now -- not just oil and natural gas, but solar and wind and clean coal technology and fuel-efficient batteries and fuel-efficient cars. And I’m not going to let oil companies continue to collect another $4 billion in taxpayer-funded corporate welfare every single year. I’m not going to let China win the race for clean energy technology. I want to see that technology developed by students and scientists here in Columbus, by workers and farmers all across Ohio, by patriots here in the United States of America. And my plan will continue to reduce the carbon pollution that is heating our planet, because climate change is not a hoax. More drought and floods and wildfires are not a joke. They’re a threat to your future. And we’ve got to make sure that we meet the moment. That’s why I’m running.” [President Obama’s remarks at Ohio State University campaign event, Columbus, OH, Oct. 9, 2012]
  • Affirmation October 2012: In Speech At University Of Miami, Obama Reaffirms That Climate Change Is 'Not A Hoax.' “I will not let China or anybody else win the race for clean energy technology. I want to see that technology developed right here in Florida, right here in the United States of America, creating jobs right here. (Applause.) And, by the way, yes, my plan will reduce the carbon pollution that’s heating our planet, because climate change is not a hoax. (Applause.) More drought and floods and hurricanes and wildfires -- that’s not a joke. That’s a threat to our children’s future. And we can do something about it.” [Remarks by President Obama, University of Miami, Oct. 11, 2012]
  • Exacerbation October 2012: At Second Debate, Obama Ignores Climate, Promises ‘Next Four Years’ Will Be ‘All-Of-The-Above’ Strategy By ‘Drilling More On Public Lands,’ ‘Encouraging’ Natural Gas Production, And ‘Producing More Coal’ While ‘Producing It Cleaner And Smarter.’ “Candy, there’s no doubt that world demand’s gone up. But our production is going up, and we’re using oil more efficiently. And very little of what Governor Romney just said is true. We’ve opened up public lands. We’re actually drilling more on public lands than in the previous administration. And my — the previous president was an oilman. And natural gas isn’t just appearing magically; we’re encouraging it and working with the industry. And when I hear Governor Romney say he’s a big coal guy — and keep in mind when — Governor, when you were governor of Massachusetts, you stood in front of a coal plant and pointed at it and said, this plant kills, and took great pride in shutting it down. And now suddenly you’re a big champion of coal. So what I’ve tried to do is be consistent. With respect to something like coal, we made the largest investment in clean coal technology to make sure that even as we’re producing more coal, we’re producing it cleaner and smarter. Same thing with oil; same thing with natural gas. And the proof is our oil imports are down to the lowest levels in 20 years, oil production is up, natural gas production is up, and most importantly, we’re also starting to build cars that are more efficient. And that’s creating jobs. That means those cars can be exported, because that’s the demand around the world. And it also means that it’ll save money in your pocketbook. That’s the strategy you need, an all-of-the-above strategy, and that’s what we’re going to do in the next four years.” [[Second Presidential Debate, Hofstra University, Oct. 16, 2012]
  • Avoidance October 2012: At Second Presidential Debate, Obama Ignores Climate And Says ‘We’ve Got To Control Our Own Energy’ By ‘Investing’ In ‘Oil And Natural Gas’ As Well As ‘Energy Sources Of The Future.’ “Number three, we’ve got to control our own energy, you know, not only oil and natural gas, which we’ve been investing in, but also we’ve got to make sure we’re building the energy sources of the future, not just thinking about next year, but 10 years from now, 20 years from now. That’s why we’ve invested in solar and wind and biofuels, energy-efficient cars.” [Second Presidential Debate, Hofstra University, Oct. 16, 2012]
  • Exacerbation October 2012: At Second Debate Obama Ignores Climate, Says ‘I’m All For Pipelines,’ ‘I’m All For Oil Production,’ As Well As ‘The Other Half Of The Equation’ Such As ‘Wind Energy.’ “What I want to do is to create an economy that is strong and at the same time produce energy. And with respect to this pipeline that Governor Romney keeps on talking about, we’ve — we’ve built enough pipeline to wrap around the entire Earth once. So I’m all for pipelines; I’m all for oil production. What I’m not for is us ignoring the other half of the equation. So for example, on wind energy, when Governor Romney says these are imaginary jobs, when you’ve got thousands of people right now in Iowa, right now in Colorado who are working, creating wind power, with good- paying manufacturing jobs, and the Republican senator in that — in Iowa is all for it, providing tax credits to help this work and Governor Romney says, I’m opposed, I’d get rid of it, that’s not an energy strategy for the future. And we need to win that future, and I intend to win it as president of the United States.” [Second Presidential Debate, Hofstra University, 10/16/12, Oct. 16, 2012]
  • Exacerbation October 2012: At Second Presidential Debate, Obama Ignores Climate and Touts ‘All Of The Above’ Strategy To ‘Control Our Own Energy’ With ‘Increased Oil Production,’ ‘Natural Gas Production,’ And ‘Coal Production’ As Well As ‘Clean Energy Production,’ Says ‘We Still Continue To Open Up New Areas For Drilling’ And ‘Make It A Priority To Go After Natural Gas.’ “ “The most important thing we can do is to make sure we control our own energy. So here’s what I’ve done since I’ve been president. We have increased oil production to the highest levels in 16 years. Natural gas production is the highest it’s been in decades. We have seen increases in coal production and coal employment. But what I’ve also said is we can’t just produce traditional sources of energy; we’ve also got to look to the future. That’s why we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars. That means that in the middle of the next decade, any car you buy, you’re going to end up going twice as far on a gallon of gas. That’s why we’ve doubled clean energy production like wind and solar and biofuels. And all these things have contributed to us lowering our oil imports to the lowest levels in 16 years. Now, I want to build on that. And that means, yes, we still continue to open up new areas for drilling. We continue to make a — it a priority for us to go after natural gas. We’ve got potentially 600,000 jobs and a hundred years’ worth of energy right beneath our feet with natural gas. And we can do it in an environmentally sound way. But we’ve also got to continue to figure out how we have efficient energy, because ultimately that’s how we’re going to reduce demand, and that’s what’s going to keep gas prices lower. Now, Governor Romney will say he’s got an all-of-the-above plan, but basically his plan is to let the oil companies write the energy policies. So he’s got the oil and gas part, but he doesn’t have the clean energy part. And if we are only thinking about tomorrow or the next day and not thinking about 10 years from now, we’re not going to control our own economic future, because China, Germany — they’re making these investments. And I’m not going to cede those jobs of the future to those countries. I expect those new energy sources to be built right here in the United States. So that’s going to help Jeremy get a job, it’s also going to make sure that you’re not paying as much for gas.” [Second Presidential Debate, Hofstra University, Oct. 16, 2012]
  • Avoidance October 2012: At Iowa Campaign Stop, Obama Says ‘We All Agree We Got To Increase Oil Production, We All Agree We Got To Increase Natural Gas Production,’ But Also ‘We’ve Got To Develop New Sources Of Energy.’ “You heard last night oil production is up. Natural gas production is up. But what we’ve also said is we’ve got to develop new sources of energy, and we’ve got to be more efficient with our economy. And so we raised fuel-efficiency standards on cars so by the middle of the next decade, your car will go twice as far on a gallon of gas. We have doubled the amount of renewable energy that we generate from wind and solar and biofuels. Today the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than any time in the last two decades. And so the question -- so the choice you have, you heard last night, it’s not a choice between oil versus solar, or natural gas versus wind. Look, we all agree we got to increase oil production. We all agree we got to increase natural gas production. But the question is whether we build on the progress for the new energy sources of the future. I'm not going to keep on giving corporate taxpayer-funded welfare to oil companies, $4 billion a year, when we could be using that money to continue to promote wind and solar and long-lasting batteries, and put Americans back to work right now -- seeing that technology develop here in the United States instead of China or Germany, or some other country.” [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Mt. Vernon, IA, Oct. 17, 2012]
  • Exacerbation October 2012: At Ohio Campaign Stop, Obama Says Romney Isn’t A ‘Champion Of Coal’ Because He Once Said A Coal-Fired Plant ‘Kills People.’ "I was listening to Governor Romney yesterday talk about how he’s a champion of coal. When he was a governor, stood in front of a coal-fired plant and said, this plant kills people -- and now he’s running around talking like he’s Mr. Coal. Come on. Come on. You know that's not on the level. Does anybody actually look at that guy and think, man, he’s really into coal. Did you see when he was doing that ad, he’s in front of all these -- all these miners with hard hats. Found out later they had to come, boss made them come. (Laughter.) Come on. Got to be on the level if you want to be President of the United States." [President Obama’s remarks at Ohio University campaign event, Athens, OH, 10/17/12, Oct. 17, 2012]
  • Affirmation October 2012: At Iowa Campaign Stop, Obama Links Carbon Pollution To ‘The Droughts We’ve Seen.’ “And I've got to tell you, Iowa, this is not a pipedream; there are nearly 7,000 jobs in Iowa right now depending on wind energy. Last night, Governor Romney claimed he didn’t have a plan to end wind jobs in Iowa, but he called these jobs “imaginary.” His plan would end tax credits for wind energy producers. That is a fact. My plan will keep these investments, and we’ll keep reducing the carbon pollution that’s also heating the planet -- (applause) -- because climate change isn't a hoax. The droughts we've seen, the floods, the wildfires -- those aren't a joke. They’re a threat to our children’s future. And we can do something about it. That's part of what’s at stake in this election.” [Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event in Mt. Vernon, IA, 10/17/12, Oct. 17, 2012]
  • Exacerbation October 2012: At Ohio Campaign Stop, Obama Says ‘We Can Also Reduce The Problem Of Carbon Pollution And We Can Still Invest In Clean Coal Technology.’ And we’re also investing in the energy sources of tomorrow: wind and solar and biofuels, clean coal technology. Today America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in two decades. So Governor Romney wants to reverse this progress; we want to build on it. Instead of giving -- we give $4 billion a year to oil companies -- corporate welfare. You pay for it. They're already making money every time you go to the pump. So I’m saying let’s take that money -- I don't want China to win the race for new technologies and new energy. Let’s invest here in the United States in developing that technology. And by the way, we can -- by doing this, we can also reduce the problem of carbon pollution and we can still invest in clean coal technology. [President Obama’s remarks at Ohio University campaign event, Athens, OH, Oct. 17, 2012]
  • Affirmation October 2012: When MTV Breaks The Climate Silence, President Obama Responds, Saying ‘We’re Not Moving As Fast As We Need To,’ Says He’s ‘Surprised’ By Climate Silence, Portrays Climate Change As Threat For ‘Future Generations’ And ‘It’s Going To Have A Severe Effect.’ The answer is number one, we’re not moving as fast as we need to. And this is an issue that future generations, MTV viewers, are going to have to be dealing with even more than the older generation. So this is a critical issue. And there is a huge contrast in this campaign between myself and Governor Romney. I am surprised it didn't come up in one of the debates. Gov. Romney says he believes in climate change. That's different than a lot of members of his own party that deny it completely. But he's not sure that man-made causes are the reason. I believe scientists who say we are putting too much carbon emissions into the atmosphere and it’s heating the planet and it’s going to have a severe effect. There are a lot of things we have done a lot of things in the last four years. We have already doubled the fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks. That's the first increase in 30 years in the fuel mileage standards. As a consequence we will be taking huge amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere, even as we’re also saving folks money at the pump and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. We have doubled clean energy production -- wind, solar, biofuels -- and that means that increasingly people are getting electricity, companies are generating power, without the use of carbon-producing fuels. And that's helping as well. The next step is to deal with buildings and really ramp up our efficiency in buildings. If we had the same energy efficiency as Japan, we would cut our energy use by about 20 percent, and that means we’d be taking a whole lot of carbon out of our atmosphere. And if we do those things, we can meet the targets that I negotiated with other countries in Copenhagen, to bring our carbon emissions down by about 17 percent, even as we’re creating good jobs in these industries. In order for us to solve the whole problem though, we’re gonna have to have some technological breakthroughs. Because countries like China and India, they’re building coal-power plants and they feel that they have to prioritize getting people out of poverty ahead of climate change. So what we have to do is help them and help ourselves by continuing to put money into research and technology about how do we really get the new sources of power that are going to make a difference. [President Obama Responds to Climate Change Question in MTV Interview, Oct. 26, 2012]
  • Exacerbation November 2012: Obama Says He ‘Won’t Go For’ A ‘Message’ That ‘Somehow We’re Going To Ignore Jobs And Growth Simply To Address Climate Change.’ “I don’t know what either Democrats or Republicans are prepared to do at this point, because, you know, this is one of those issues that’s not just a partisan issue. I also think there are regional differences. There’s no doubt that for us to take on climate change in a serious way would involve making some tough political choices, and you know, understandably, I think the American people right now have been so focused and will continue to be focused on our economy and jobs and growth that, you know, if the message is somehow we’re going to ignore jobs and growth simply to address climate change, I don’t think anybody’s going to go for that. I won’t go for that. If, on the other hand, we can shape an agenda that says we can create jobs, advance growth and make a serious dent in climate change and be an international leader, I think that’s something that the American people would support. So you know, you can expect that you’ll hear more from me in the coming months and years about how we can shape an agenda that garners bipartisan support and helps moves this agenda forward.” [Remarks by the President at a News Conference, Nov. 14, 2012]
  • Denial November 2012: Responding To Question About Sandy, President Obama Says ‘We Can’t Attribute Any Particular Weather Event To Climate Change.’ “As you know, Mark, we can’t attribute any particular weather event to climate change. What we do know is the temperature around the globe is increasing faster than was predicted even 10 years ago. We do know that the Arctic ice cap is melting faster than was predicted even five years ago. We do know that there have been an extraordinarily large number of severe weather events here in North America, but also around the globe. And I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions. And as a consequence, I think we’ve got an obligation to future generations to do something about it.” [Remarks by the President in a News Conference, Nov. 14, 2012]
  • Exacerbation November 2012: Obama Is ‘Pretty Certain’ We Can’t Have a Carbon Tax But Climate Change ‘Is Important.’ Asked if we’re “probably still short of a consensus on some kind of carbon tax,” Obama replied, “That I’m pretty certain of. And look, we’re still trying to debate whether we can just make sure that middle-class families don’t get a tax hike. Let’s see if we can resolve that. That should be easy. This one’s hard. But it’s important because, you know, one of the things that we don’t always factor in are the costs involved in these natural disasters. We just put them off as something that’s unconnected to our behavior right now, and I think what, based on the evidence, we’re seeing is that what we do now is going to have an impact and a cost down the road if we don’t do something about it.” [Remarks by the President at a News Conference, Nov. 14, 2012]
  • Promises November 2012: Obama Promises To Start 'Having A Conversation' To 'Find Out What More We Can Do' 'Long Term' On Climate Change. “Now, in my first term, we doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks. That will have an impact. That will take a lot of carbon out of the atmosphere. We doubled the production of clean energy, which promises to reduce the utilization of fossil fuels for power generation. And we continue to invest in potential breakthrough technologies that could further remove carbon from our atmosphere. But we haven’t done as much as we need to. So what I’m going to be doing over the next several weeks, next several months, is having a conversation, a wide-ranging conversation with scientists, engineers and elected officials to find out what more can we do to make short-term progress in reducing carbons, and then working through an education process that I think is necessary, a discussion, the conversation across the country about, you know, what realistically can we do long term to make sure that this is not something we’re passing on to future generations that’s going to be very expensive and very painful to deal with.” [Remarks by the President in a News Conference, Nov. 14, 2012]
  • Affirmation December 2012: Obama Says Climate Change Raises ‘Very Tough Questions About What We Are Leaving Behind,’ Says ‘We’ve Got To Get This Right, And At Least Give’ His Daughters ‘A Fighting Chance,’ Because ‘You Don’t Want Them Inheriting The Consequences Of Bad Choices That You Make.’ "Well, it’s a cliché, but it’s obviously true that for any parent, as you watch your kids age, you are reminded that everything you do has to have their futures in mind. You fervently hope they’re going to outlive you; that the world will be better for them when you’re not around. You start thinking about their kids. And so, on an issue like climate change, for example, I think for this country and the world to ask some very tough questions about what are we leaving behind, that weighs on you. And not to mention the fact I think that generation is much more environmentally aware than previous generations. There is that sense of we’ve got to get this right, and at least give them a fighting chance. In the same way that as a parent you recognize that no matter what you do, your kids are going to have challenges — because that’s the human condition — but you don’t want them dealing with stuff that’s the result of you making bad choices. They’ll have enough bad choices that they make on their own that you don’t want them inheriting the consequences of bad choices that you make. We have to think about that as a society as a whole. And so when we think about getting our fiscal house in order, when we think about climate change, when we think about the kind of economy that they’ll be inheriting and what opportunities they have, again, taking the long view is something that I’m constantly pushing for. And that’s particularly challenging in this job where your inbox of immediate crises are always coming at you. And that’s been even more true over the last four years than it has I think for most Presidents. I mean, obviously, we’ve had a lot incoming, and so there’s a temptation to just deal with the next immediate thing as opposed to thinking about what kind of impact are we going to have 20 years from now." [Barack Obama’s Person of the Year interview, Dec. 12, 2012]
  • Exacerbation December 2012: Obama Touts Plan To ‘Maintain’ Increased Drilling For Oil And Natural Gas To Achieve ‘The World We Want To See.’ “The other big piece of this is that the transformation and energy could have a huge geopolitical consequence. The United States is going to be a net exporter of energy because of new technologies and what we’re doing with natural gas and oil. We’ve, during my first four years, reduced our dependence on foreign oil each and every year; we’re now down to under 50 percent. We can maintain those trendlines. And that, I think, gives us more freedom of movement to speak to the kind of Middle East that we want to see and the world we want to see.” [Barack Obama’s Person of the Year interview, Time Magazine, Dec. 12, 2012]
  • Affirmation January 2013: Obama Calls Climate Change 'A Daunting Task' That Needs 'Some Big Technological Breakthrough.' "On climate change, it's a daunting task. But we know what releases carbon into the atmosphere, and we have tools right now that would start scaling that back, although we'd still need some big technological breakthrough." [New Republic, Jan. 16, 2013]
  • Affirmation January 2013: In His Inaugural Address, Obama Promises 'We Will Respond To The Threat Of Climate Change.' "We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That’s how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared." [President Obama's Second Inaugural Address, Jan. 21, 2013]
  • Affirmation February 2013: Obama Cites Superstorm Sandy And Other Recent Climate Disasters To Tell Congress To 'Act Before It's Too Late.' "But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change. Now, it’s true that no single event makes a trend. But the fact is the 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15. Heat waves, droughts, wildfires, floods -- all are now more frequent and more intense. We can choose to believe that Superstorm Sandy, and the most severe drought in decades, and the worst wildfires some states have ever seen were all just a freak coincidence. Or we can choose to believe in the overwhelming judgment of science -- and act before it’s too late." [State of the Union Address, Feb. 12, 2013]
  • Avoidance February 2013: Obama Calls For Increased Oil, Gas, And Renewable Energy Investments, As Well As Efficiency Plan And Infrastructure Investments, Including 'Modern Pipelines.' "Four years ago, other countries dominated the clean energy market and the jobs that came with it. And we’ve begun to change that. Last year, wind energy added nearly half of all new power capacity in America. So let’s generate even more. Solar energy gets cheaper by the year -- let’s drive down costs even further. As long as countries like China keep going all in on clean energy, so must we. Now, in the meantime, the natural gas boom has led to cleaner power and greater energy independence. We need to encourage that. And that’s why my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits. That’s got to be part of an all-of-the-above plan. But I also want to work with this Congress to encourage the research and technology that helps natural gas burn even cleaner and protects our air and our water. In fact, much of our new-found energy is drawn from lands and waters that we, the public, own together. So tonight, I propose we use some of our oil and gas revenues to fund an Energy Security Trust that will drive new research and technology to shift our cars and trucks off oil for good. If a nonpartisan coalition of CEOs and retired generals and admirals can get behind this idea, then so can we. Let’s take their advice and free our families and businesses from the painful spikes in gas prices we’ve put up with for far too long. I’m also issuing a new goal for America: Let’s cut in half the energy wasted by our homes and businesses over the next 20 years. We'll work with the states to do it. Those states with the best ideas to create jobs and lower energy bills by constructing more efficient buildings will receive federal support to help make that happen. America’s energy sector is just one part of an aging infrastructure badly in need of repair. Ask any CEO where they’d rather locate and hire -- a country with deteriorating roads and bridges, or one with high-speed rail and Internet; high-tech schools, self-healing power grids. The CEO of Siemens America -- a company that brought hundreds of new jobs to North Carolina -- said that if we upgrade our infrastructure, they’ll bring even more jobs. And that’s the attitude of a lot of companies all around the world. And I know you want these job-creating projects in your district. I’ve seen all those ribbon-cuttings. So tonight, I propose a “Fix-It-First” program to put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs, like the nearly 70,000 structurally deficient bridges across the country. And to make sure taxpayers don’t shoulder the whole burden, I’m also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods, modern pipelines to withstand a storm, modern schools worthy of our children." [State of the Union Address, Feb. 12, 2013]
  • Promises February 2013: Obama Calls For 'Bipartisan, Market-Based' Climate Bill Or Promises 'Executive Actions.' "Now, the good news is we can make meaningful progress on this issue while driving strong economic growth. I urge this Congress to get together, pursue a bipartisan, market-based solution to climate change, like the one John McCain and Joe Lieberman worked on together a few years ago. But if Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. (Applause.) 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." [State of the Union Address, Feb. 12, 2013]
  • Exacerbation February 2013: In State Of The Union, Obama Says 'Energy Future' Involves Increased Oil & Gas Production In Addition To Renewable Energy, Claims 'Carbon Pollution' Emissions Are Down. "Today, no area holds more promise than our investments in American energy. After years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to control our own energy future. We produce more oil at home than we have in 15 years. We have doubled the distance our cars will go on a gallon of gas, and the amount of renewable energy we generate from sources like wind and solar -- with tens of thousands of good American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than ever before -- and nearly everyone’s energy bill is lower because of it. And over the last four years, our emissions of the dangerous carbon pollution that threatens our planet have actually fallen." [State of the Union Address, Feb. 12, 2013]
  • Avoidance March 2013: Obama Tells Activists Climate Change 'Not Easy' For Politicians Because 'Benefits May Be Out In The Future.' "If we move aggressively on an issue like climate change -- that’s not an easy issue for a lot of folks, because the benefits may be out in the future. And I want to make sure that a congressman, senator feels as if they've got the information and the grassroots network that’s going to support them in that effort." [Remarks by the President at Organizing for Action Event, March 13, 2013]
  • Affirmation April 2013: At SF Fundraiser, Obama Calls Climate Change 'One Of The Biggest Challenges Of Our Time,' Says Politicians Like Himself Need To 'Take Some Risks Politically' To Persuade Americans 'More Convincingly' That Economy Vs. Environment 'Is Just A False Choice.' And because of you, despite a very aggressive agenda on the other side to block action, we’ve been able to double fuel efficiency standards on cars. We’ve been able to take mercury out of our air. We have been able to reduce carbon emissions in this country and have made not only this a healthier place to live, but have also begun to address in a serious way one of the biggest challenges of our time, and that is the challenge of climate change. . . .

    And something that I know is near and dear to Tom and Kat’s hearts, and to Nancy’s -- we’ve got more work to do in terms of dealing with climate change and making sure that we’ve got an economy that is energy-efficient, that is productive, that is cutting-edge, and thinks about not just the energy sources of the past, but also the energy promise of the future. And the thing that I’m going to have to try to work to persuade the American people a little more convincingly on is this notion that there’s a contradiction between our economy and our environment is just a false choice -- that if we invest now, we will create jobs, we will create entire new industries; other countries will be looking to catch up, they will be looking to import what we do. We will set the standard, and everybody else will have to adapt. But -- and I mentioned this to Tom and Kat and a few folks right before I came out here -- the politics of this are tough. Because if you haven’t seen a raise in a decade; if your house is still $25,000, $30,000 underwater; if you’re just happy that you’ve still got that factory job that is powered by cheap energy; if every time you go to fill up your old car because you can’t afford to buy a new one, and you certainly can’t afford to buy a Prius, you’re spending 40 bucks that you don’t have, which means that you may not be able to save for retirement -- you may be concerned about the temperature of the planet, but it’s probably not rising to your number-one concern. And if people think, well, that’s shortsighted, that’s what happens when you’re struggling to get by. You’re thinking about what’s right in front of you, which is how do I fill up my gas tank and how do I feed my family. And so part of what we’re going to have to do is to marry a genuine, passionate concern about middle-class families and everybody who is trying to get into the middle class to show them that we’re working just as hard for them as we are for our environmental agenda, and that we can bridge these things in a way that advances the causes of both. And that’s going to take some work. But the most important thing that it’s going to take is people in Washington who are willing to speak truth to power, are willing to take some risks politically, are willing to get a little bit out ahead of the curve -- not two miles ahead of the curve, but just a little bit ahead of it. [DCCC Fundraiser At Tom Steyer Residence, San Francisco, April 4, 2013]

  • Affirmation April 2013: Obama Calls For 'Science-Based Initiatives' To 'Minimize And Adapt To Global Threats Like Climate Change' "So we will continue to pursue advances in science and engineering, in infrastructure and innovation, in education and environmental protection -- especially science-based initiatives to help us minimize and adapt to global threats like climate change." [National Academy of Sciences, April 29, 2013]
  • Affirmation May 2013: Obama Tells College Students 'Deteriorating Climate' Threatens 'Our Kids And Our Grandkids.' "Because when we don’t, when we turn away and get discouraged and cynical, and abdicate that authority, we grant our silent consent to someone who will gladly claim it. . . . That’s how our political system gets consumed by small things when we are a people called to do great things -- like rebuild a middle class, and reverse the rise of inequality, and repair the deteriorating climate that threatens everything we plan to leave for our kids and our grandkids. . . . To confront the threat of climate change before it’s too late -- that requires the idealism and the initiative of citizens." [Ohio State University Commencement, May 5, 2013]
  • Affirmation June 2013: Obama Calls Climate Change 'The Global Threat Of Our Time.' "Peace with justice means refusing to condemn our children to a harsher, less hospitable planet. The effort to slow climate change requires bold action. And on this, Germany and Europe have led. In the United States, we have recently doubled our renewable energy from clean sources like wind and solar power. We’re doubling fuel efficiency on our cars. Our dangerous carbon emissions have come down. But we know we have to do more -- and we will do more. With a global middle class consuming more energy every day, this must now be an effort of all nations, not just some. For the grim alternative affects all nations -- more severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise. This is the future we must avert. This is the global threat of our time. And for the sake of future generations, our generation must move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate before it is too late. That is our job. That is our task. We have to get to work." [Remarks by President Obama at the Brandenburg Gate - Berlin, Germany, June 19, 2013]
  • Actions June 2013: At Georgetown, Obama Is 'Directing EPA' To 'Complete New Pollution Standards For Both New And Existing Power Plants.' "Six years ago, the Supreme Court ruled that greenhouse gases are pollutants covered by that same Clean Air Act. And they required the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA, to determine whether they’re a threat to our health and welfare. In 2009, the EPA determined that they are a threat to both our health and our welfare in many different ways -- from dirtier air to more common heat waves -- and, therefore, subject to regulation. Today, about 40 percent of America’s carbon pollution comes from our power plants. But here’s the thing: Right now, there are no federal limits to the amount of carbon pollution that those plants can pump into our air. None. Zero. We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury and sulfur and arsenic in our air or our water, but power plants can still dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air for free. That’s not right, that’s not safe, and it needs to stop. So today, for the sake of our children, and the health and safety of all Americans, I’m directing the Environmental Protection Agency to put an end to the limitless dumping of carbon pollution from our power plants, and complete new pollution standards for both new and existing power plants. I’m also directing the EPA to develop these standards in an open and transparent way, to provide flexibility to different states with different needs, and build on the leadership that many states, and cities, and companies have already shown. In fact, many power companies have already begun modernizing their plants, and creating new jobs in the process. Others have shifted to burning cleaner natural gas instead of dirtier fuel sources. Nearly a dozen states have already implemented or are implementing their own market-based programs to reduce carbon pollution. More than 25 have set energy efficiency targets. More than 35 have set renewable energy targets. Over 1,000 mayors have signed agreements to cut carbon pollution. So the idea of setting higher pollution standards for our power plants is not new. It’s just time for Washington to catch up with the rest of the country. And that's what we intend to do." [Remarks by the President on Climate Change, June 25, 2013]
  • Avoidance July 2013: In Response To Deadly Wildfire, Obama Notes 'Wildfires Have Been Continually Escalating' And 'Increasingly Deadly,' But Does Not Mention Climate Pollution. In Tanzania, President Obama responds to a question on the deaths of the 19 firefighters in the Yarnell Hill Fire in Arizona: "Obviously, the news is heartbreaking. And our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the brave firefighters who are out there. This is one more reminder of the fact that our first responders, they put their lives on the line every single day. And every time we have a community in crisis, a disaster strikes, we've got people in need -- firefighters, law enforcement officers, they run towards the danger. And so we are heartbroken about what happened. Obviously, we're prepared to provide any support we can in investigating exactly how this took place. I think we're going to have to ask ourselves a set of broader questions about how we're handling increasingly deadly and difficult firefights. Wildfires have been continually escalating at higher and higher cost, and putting more and more pressure not only the federal fire services, but also on state and local fire services. And we're going to have to think about what more we can do on that front. But for now, I think what we're most concerned about is how painful these losses are." [Remarks by President Obama and President Kikwete of Tanzania at Joint Press Conference, July 1, 2013]
  • Avoidance October 2013: In Speech Marking Sandy Anniversary, Obama Silent On Climate Change President Obama's full statement: ""One year ago, Hurricane Sandy's landfall devastated communities up and down the East Coast -- a tragedy that demanded massive rescue, recovery, and rebuilding efforts. Today, we remember our fellow Americans who lost their lives to that storm, and we comfort the families who grieve them still. And while there are still homes to rebuild and businesses to reopen, the last year has also served as a reminder of the strength and resilience of the American people. We've seen first responders act with heroism, strangers lend a helping hand, and entire communities come together to heal. There's more work to do, but that's the spirit with which we'll continue to do it for our fellow Americans who still need a hand. Over the past year, my Administration has fought for these communities throughout the response, and the federal government will remain by their side as our fellow citizens rebuild. We've provided billions of dollars of assistance to hundreds of thousands of people and small business owners through direct aid, grants, and loans. We've helped thousands of families stay in their homes, communities cut through red tape and bureaucracy to receive the help they need, and worked with state and local officials to open 97% of public beaches before Memorial Day, sending a strong message to the country that the shore was open for business. Through a federal commitment to a long-term rebuilding effort, our roads, bridges, hospitals and businesses are coming back stronger than before. That's who we are as Americans -- we take care of our own. We leave nobody behind. And as long as our fellow Americans continue to travel the long and sometimes difficult road to recovery, their country will stay with them every step of the way." [President's Statement on Anniversary of Sandy, Oct. 29, 2013]
  • Affirmation May 2014: Obama Says 'Climate Change Is Real And We Have To Act Now,' 'We Can't Afford To Wait,' And 'It's Happening Now.' So together, the commitments we’re announcing today prove that there are cost-effective ways to tackle climate change and create jobs at the same time. So often, when we hear about how we’re going to deal with this really serious issue, people say we can’t afford to do it; it won’t be good for the economy. It will be good for the economy long term -- and if we don’t, that will be bad for the economy. Rising sea levels, drought, more wildfires, more severe storms -- those are bad for the economy. So we can’t afford to wait. And there’s no reason why we can’t even go further than we are so far by working with states and utilities, and other organizations to change the way we power our economy. Climate change is real and we have to act now. Earlier this week, I issued -- or we issued a report that was years in the making called the National Climate Assessment. Hundreds of scientists, experts and businesses, not-for-profits, local communities all contributed over the course of four years. What they found was unequivocally that climate change is not some far-off problem in the future. It’s happening now. It’s causing hardship now. It’s affecting every sector of our economy and our society -- more severe floods, more violent wildfires. It’s already costing cities and states and families and businesses money. Here in California, you’ve seen these effects firsthand. You know what’s happening. And increasingly, more and more Americans do -- including, by the way, many Republicans outside of Washington. So unfortunately, inside of Washington we’ve still got some climate deniers who shout loud, but they’re wasting everybody’s time on a settled debate. Climate change is a fact. And while we know the shift to clean energy won’t happen overnight, we’ve got to make some tough choices along the way. And we know that if we do, it’s going to save us ultimately money and create jobs over the long term. That's what Walmart understands, and Walmart is pretty good at counting its pennies. So that’s why this fight is so important. That’s why the sooner we work together to adapt the economy to this reality of climate change, the more likely it is that we do right by our kids and leave a more stable world. And ultimately that's what motivates a whole lot of us. [Remarks by the President on American Energy at a Walmart in Mountain View, CA, May 9, 2014]
  • Exacerbation May 2014: At Walmart, Obama Touts U.S. 'Producing More Traditional Energy' And Solar Panel Installations. One of the biggest factors in bringing jobs back to America has been our commitment to American energy over the last five years. When I took office, we set out to break our dependence on foreign oil. Today, America is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades. We generate more renewable energy than ever, with tens of thousands of good American jobs to show for it. We produce more natural gas than anyone -- and nearly everybody’s energy bill is lower because of it. So are our carbon emissions that cause climate change. We set new fuel standards for our cars and trucks so that they’ll go twice as far on a gallon of gas by the middle of the next decade. That saves the typical family about $8,000 at the pump. And for the first time in nearly 20 years, America produces more oil here at home than we buy from other countries. So we’re producing more traditional energy, but we’re also becoming a leader in the energy sources of the future. We’re becoming a global leader in solar, thanks in part to the investments we’ve made in the Recovery Act. Over the past few years, the cost of solar panels have fallen by 60 percent; solar installations have increased by 500 percent. Every four minutes, another American home or business goes solar, and every panel is pounded into place by a worker whose job cannot be overseas. [Remarks by the President on American Energy at a Walmart in Mountain View, CA, May 9, 2014]

Romney

  • Promises July 2003: Romney Letter Says That 'Power Plant Pollution' Is 'Harming Our Climate,' That 'Climate Change Is Beginning To Effect On Our Natural Resources' And 'Now Is The Time To Take Action Toward Climate Protection,' And Calls For A 'Market-Based Regional Cap-And-Trade System.' "Thank you for your invitation to embark on a cooperative northeast process to reduce the power plant pollution that is harming our climate. I concur that climate change is beginning to effect on our natural resources and that now is the time to take action toward climate protection." "I believe that our joint work to create a flexible market-based regional cap and trade system could serve as an effective approach to meeting these goals." [Letter From Gov. Romney to Gov. Pataki On RGGI Pact, July 21, 2003]
  • Actions May 2004: Romney Announces 'No Regrets' Climate Protection Plan For Massachusetts, Equivocates On Climate Change. "I am proud to announce the Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan, the first in the history of the Commonwealth and among the strongest in our nation. Since taking office in January 2003, this Administration has embarked on a "no regrets" policy towards climate change. Rather than focusing our energy on the debate over the causes of global warming and the impact of human activity on climate, we have chosen to put our emphasis on actions, not discourse. If climate change is happening, the actions we take will help. If climate change is largely caused by human actions, this will really help. If we learn decades from now that climate change isn't happening, these actions will still help our economy, our quality of life and the quality of our environment." [Massachusetts Climate Protection Plan, May 1, 2004]
  • Denial May 2004: Announcing Climate Protection Plan, Romney Says 'I Don't Know' If Global Warming Is Manmade. As he introduced a new state policy to combat global warming, Governor Mitt Romney had a surprise for the environmentalists gathered along the Charles River Esplanade yesterday: Personally, he's not sure global warming is happening. "I'm not a scientist," he said. "I read one book over the summer that said, 'gee, global warming is happening for reasons unrelated to human participation,' and other reports, far more, indicate, 'no no, it's very much driven by humans.' Well, I don't know." [Romney Hedges on Global Warming, Boston Globe, May 7, 2004]
  • Actions September 2005: Romney Administration Details Health Threats Of Carbon Dioxide, Including 'More Frequent And Severe Heat Waves.' In a document supporting the California greenhouse tailpipe standards, Romney's Department of Environmental Protection describes the health threat of CO2: "While CO2 itself is non-toxic, its warming effects cause hotter weather with more frequent and severe heat waves, posing multiple health risks that include a rise in heat-related illness, more frequent periods of harmful outdoor air quality, and the spread of certain diseases." [Massachusetts Low Emission Vehicle Program Background Document and Technical Support For Public Hearing On CA GHG Standards, Sept. 1, 2005]
  • Actions December 2005: Romney Says His 'Carbon Emission Limits Will Provide Real And Immediate Progress In The Battle To Improve Our Environment.' "Massachusetts continues to be committed to improving air quality for all our citizens. These carbon emission limits will provide real and immediate progress in the battle to improve our environment," Romney said. "They help us accomplish our environmental goals while protecting jobs and the economy." [Romney Announces Strict New Clean Air Regulations To Take Effect January 1, Dec. 7, 2005]
  • Avoidance December 2005: Romney Supports Drilling In Arctic Refuge But Says 'We Have Got To Learn To Use A Lot Less Oil In This Country.' "Ultimately, however, we have got to learn to use a lot less oil in this country, and that's efficiency. That's conservation, that‘s automobiles that use less energy." "Fundamentally, you have got two things that are going to affect the price and supply of oil in this country. One is, of course, how much we are using. And the other is how much we are producing. And, of course, we need to produce more oil and generate more renewable sources of energy. And we can do that through the farmland. We can do that through wind power, solar power. But we also have to use a lot less energy, a lot less oil." Asked if he supported drilling in the Arctic refuge, Romney said, "I think we ought to have more oil. We ought to develop more sources of oil so that we can increase our supply. But the last thing I want to do is suck it all dry as quickly as we can. I want to use less of it." Asked again if he supported drilling in the Arctic refuge, Romney said, "Yes, but let's not just suck it all out. Let's make sure that we keep that reserve." [Hardball with Chris Matthews, Dec. 12, 2005]
  • Exacerbation December 2005: Romney Pulls Massachusetts Out Of 'Largely Symbolic' Cap-And-Trade Program That 'Would Cost Us More,' Saying 'There Is No Hurry.' Romney said last night that he could not endorse a plan that did not include a "safety valve," one that would cap the amount power plants would have to pay if they exceed emissions limits costs that could be passed on to businesses and consumers. "New England has the highest energy rates in the country, and [the pact] would cost us more," Romney said in a telephone interview. "We offered a simple safety valve and they rejected that and came back with a series of proposals to lessen the price escalation, but it was not a clean and sure safety valve." Romney also said the program was largely symbolic and would not fix the worldwide problem of greenhouse gas emissions. He said that Massachusetts and other states would probably monitor the pact and that "there is no hurry" to join. [Boston Globe, Dec. 15, 2005]
  • Affirmation May 2006: Romney Opposes 'The Use Of More Gasoline,' Says 'High Gasoline Prices Are Probably Here To Stay.' "I don't think that now is the time, and I'm not sure there will be the right time, for us to encourage the use of more gasoline. I'm very much in favor of people recognizing that these high gasoline prices are probably here to stay." [Quincy Patriot Ledger, May 1, 2006]
  • Affirmation June 2006: Romney Says 'It Wouldn't Hurt To Reduce Our Use Of CO2, And It Certainly Would Be Great To Dramatically Reduce Our Use Of Oil.' "The over use of oil in particular is a major issue. It has political implications around the world for us. And it may well be that the emission of carbon dioxide is contributing to global warming. I don't know how much is related to CO2 emissions, how much is cyclical. But it certainly wouldn't hurt to reduce our use of CO2, and it certainly would be great to dramatically reduce our use of oil. [Charlie Rose Show, June 5, 2006]
  • Affirmation February 2007: Romney Says 'Scientists Haven't Entirely Resolved' Global Warming But 'No Question' That 'It's Getting Warmer.' "I have to tell you with regards to global warming that that's something, which, you're right, the scientists haven't entirely resolved, but no question about one thing, it's getting warmer, and a lot of good reasons for us to use less energy, to use it more efficiently and to develop sources here in this country that could allow us to be more independent of foreign sources." [CNBC's Kudlow & Company, Feb. 7, 2007]
  • Denial February 2007: Romney Bashes 'Radical Environmental Ideas Of The Liberal Left,' 'Kyoto-Style Sweeping Mandates,' 'The Ideas Of Al Gore.' "Mark Sanford is right," Romney says, responding to a column in which Sanford said, "I believe human activity is having a measurable effect on the environment." Romney continues: "Unfortunately, some in the Republican Party are embracing the radical environmental ideas of the liberal left. As governor, I found that thoughtful environmentalism need not be anti-growth and anti-jobs. But Kyoto-style sweeping mandates, imposed unilaterally in the United States, would kill jobs, depress growth and shift manufacturing to the dirtiest developing nations. Republicans should never abandon pro-growth conservative principles in an effort to embrace the ideas of Al Gore. Instead of sweeping mandates, we must use America's power of innovation to develop alternative sources of energy and new technologies that use energy more efficiently." [Gov. Romney on the Current Environmental Debate, Feb. 23, 2007]
  • Avoidance May 2007: Citing Climate Uncertainty, Romney Promotes 'No Regrets' Domestic Energy Production. "We're sure going to have to find a way to reduce our use of energy, and particularly foreign energy. There are a lot of people that are concerned about global warming. I think we're probably experiencing a change in our climate. Human activity may well be contributing to it. I think it probably is. What I don't know is how much of the change is due to human activity, and what action we could take that would change the trajectory of the changes we're seeing, the global climate changes we're seeing. That's why I adopt what I call no regrets policies. Policies that will allow us to become energy independent and will have as one of their by-products, reduction of the CO2 that we emit, greenhouse gases that we emit. So let me tell you the kinds of things I'd like to do. With regards to developing more energy, I want to see some of our renewable resources, biodiesel, biofuel, ethanol, cellulosic ethanol. I want to see us using liquefied coal if we can sequester the CO2 properly. I want to see nuclear power. I want to see us develop our own oil offshore and ANWR. Let's develop all the sources we can to provide our own energy needs and free ourselves from Ahmadinejad and Chavez and Putin and others who have the oil today. Just to put that in context: We spent about $430 billion last year in our defense budget. That doesn't account for the Iraq war. Russia last year sold about $500 billion worth of oil. It's a huge strategic imperative for us to become energy independent and not put money in the hands of people who don't like us that much. On the other side of the equation, in addition to producing more energy, we have to be more efficient in our use of it. And that means more fuel-efficient vehicles, more energy efficient homes. The combination of more efficiency and more domestic sourced energy will allow us to become energy independent. And we do need an Apollo type project. A Manhattan style project where we put in place the funding necessary to seriously get on track to becoming truly energy independent. And that has as the benefit, reducing our emissions of CO2. Now if we're going to get into an agreement with the rest of the world on CO2 caps and so forth, I want it agreed by the whole world, not just us. Because last time when they were talking about the Kyoto accord, it applied to developed nations, not to developing nations like India and China. But in ten years, developing nations, India, China, and the others, were putting out more CO2 than the developed nations! So if we're going to have some revision of that nature, it's got to be global, not just unilateral." [YouTube, Romney campaign stop in West Des Moines, IA, May 31, 2007]
  • Denial August 2007: They Don't Call It America Warming,' Romney Quips. "I'm tempted to say the best thing I could do on global warming is unscrew those light bulbs. Putting that aside. I believe we're seeing global warming. The scientists suggest we are. And I believe that human activity contributes to it. I don't know how much the global warming is due to our activity. I just don't know that answer. I don't know that I have to solve that answer. Because the action I believe I would take falls into two categories. Number one is to work with other nations to reduce their and our collective emissions of greenhouse gases. I would not do that on a U.S. only basis. Meaning if we're going to reduce CO2 emissions and other emissions we should do that with other nations. They don't call it America warming. They call it global warming. China emits more greenhouse gases now than we do. So let's not us put restrictions on ourselves that make our nation a far more expensive nation to do business and just have people go to China and emit more. Let's do something on a global basis. Secondly, we can dramatically reduce our CO2 emissions all by ourselves by putting ourselves realistically on a course to establishing energy independence. And for me that means developing nuclear power, biodiesel, biofuel, ethanol, cellulosic ethanol, wind, solar, liquefied coal, gasified coal Let's develop additional sources of energy including in my view, drill in ANWR, drill in the Intercontinental Shelf, in an environmentally responsible way. Let's also become more efficient in our use of energy. And by that I mean automobiles that get much better mileage, homes that are much more energy efficient. The combination of more efficiency and development of our own energy resources can help America reach energy independence. It can't be done in 5 or 10 years, I don't think. My advisers in the energy world tell me it will take almost 20 years, maybe a little longer. Once we get on that course and tell the world here's how we're doing it and make those investments to get there, that will have a profound impact on the world price of oil, bringing it down. Because this isn't a technology we're going to keep all to ourselves. If we find ways to create this additional energy and be more efficient, we'll let other countries do the same thing to bring down their emissions. And of course this would be good business for America as well. I call it a no regrets policy. Become energy independent, reduce our use of foreign oil, that dramatically reduces our emissions of CO2 and helps improve the environment of the planet." [YouTube, Aug. 1, 2007]
  • Affirmation November 2007: Romney Says 'It's A Good Idea To Reduce Our Greenhouse Gas Emissions.' "The security implications of our addiction to oil at the same time the environmental impacts of the overuse of our carbon-based energy sources. It does appear to me, and I think to most people, that the world's getting warmer. And it also appears to me that we're contributing to that. I don't know how much we're contributing to that. I don't know what percentage it is. What percentage is caused by factors out of our control, what percentage our emitting of greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuels, I don't know. I do know it's a good idea to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions." [Romney campaigning in Hopkinton NH, Youtube, Nov. 13, 2007]
  • Affirmation November 2007: Romney Says 'Greenhouse Gases Affect Global Warming' And 'We're Going To Have To Work Globally To Reduce These Gases Which May Very Well Be Causing A Dramatic Warming Of Our Planet.' "I describe what are in my view some of the most important things we could do to dramatically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions all by ourselves. So the new sources of energy that are non-CO2 emitting, much greater efficiency in our cars, homes, appliances, businesses. Those two things combined will dramatically reduce the growth and perhaps even reduce the absolute level of our CO2 emissions at some point. So those are things I do for three major reasons. Different people choose different reasons for liking those ideas. One is to give ourselves better security so we don't have to worry about buying oil from people who don't like us. Two is strengthening our economy, so we don't send over a billion dollars a day outside our country. Three is to reduce greenhouse gases and affect global warming. So we have those three reasons for taking action by ourselves. What happens if we decide to put in place a regime to put caps of some kind and targets and so forth? One important principle I want to make is this: We don't call it America warming, we call it global warming. That being the case, I want make sure those kinds of discussions are held on a global basis, not what is America going to do while everybody else sits back and does nothing. What was wrong with Kyoto, is it said okay America, you put in place these caps, but China, who is now the biggest greenhouse gas emitter in the world, you don't have to do anything. I want China and India -- by the way, they are competing for our jobs. I don't want to put on our employers and our employees costs which then the Chinese or the Indians don't have to pay, to make our jobs even less competitive. So I will work on a global basis to get other nations to combine to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in a way that is fair to us and to other people in the world. yeah but they're building coal plants one a week, every two days. They're building a lot of coal plants not only a lot of pollutions but also a lot of CO2. We're going to have to work globally to reduce these gases which may very well be causing a dramatic warming of our planet." [Romney at Kirkwood CC in Cedar Rapids, IA, YouTube, Nov. 30, 2007]
  • Affirmation December 2007: Romney Says He Supports A 'Global Effort' To Change 'The CO2 Emissions For The Entire Planet' Unlike 'Kyoto Accord.' Romney answers question about his quip about America warming: "We can become far more effective by pursuing my policy of energy independence. And if we can get China, India and Brazil and the rest of the world also to come together in a global effort, then that's going to change, if you will the CO2 emissions for the entire planet. And that's something I support. I do want to make sure however, that we don't end up with something like the Kyoto Accord, which said, okay, America, you've got to reduce your CO2 according to these limits that we're putting in this provision, but China and India don't have to. That in my opinion would have frankly a negative impact on the planet. Because what would happen if nations like ours say we are going to strictly limit our CO2 emissions, bring them down, but if we let a nation like China not have to do that at all? Then what's going to happen is the energy intensive industries here are going to get up and go there. And you'll end up having more pollution and more CO2, because they'll go to a place that's just burning coal, dirty coal! They're building a new power plant I'm told as much as one a week. A new coal power plant every week! Think about that." [Romney in Manchester NH, YouTube, Dec. 17, 2007]
  • Avoidance February 2009: Romney Criticizes Cap-And-Trade, Calls For 'Worldwide' 'Carbon Plan.' "We and the President agree that America must act to become energy independent. But his cap-and-trade proposal is exactly the wrong way to go about it. It would tax American citizens and employers and send businesses and jobs to high polluting and high emitting nations like China. Any carbon plan has to be worldwide in scope: they don't call it America-warming, they call it global-warming." [CPAC, Feb. 27, 2009]
  • Avoidance September 2009: Romney Says Cap And Trade Is A Secret Tax And 'Won't Do A Thing To Affect Climate Change.' "Candidate Obama promised not to raise taxes--'by one dime'--on people making less than 250 thousand dollars a year. The President's cap and trade program demolished that promise. The Obama team had secretly calculated that his plan would cost the average American family $1,761 a year, the equivalent to a 15% income tax hike. It kills jobs. And because it will simply move greenhouse gas emitters from America to other nations like China, it won't do a thing to affect climate change. Democrats keep talking about climate change. I think they're confusing global warming with all the heat they've been taking at town halls." [Values Voters Summit, Sept. 19, 2009]
  • Denial March 2010: In Book, Romney Opposes 'Radical Feel-Good Policies Like A Unilateral U.S. Cap-And-Trade Mandate.' "I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to man and how much is attributable to factors out of our control. I do not support radical feel-good policies like a unilateral U.S. cap-and-trade mandate. Such policies would have little effect on climate but could cripple economic growth with devastating results for people across the planet." [Mitt Romney, No Apology, p. 227, March 2, 2010]
  • Denial March 2010: In Book, Romney Says 'Climate Change Is Occurring' And 'Human Activity Is A Contributing Factor' But 'Uncertain How Much.' "I believe that climate change is occurring -- the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to factors out of our control." [Mitt Romney, No Apology, p. 227, March 2, 2010]
  • Denial March 2010: In Book, Romney Questions Scientific Consensus On Man-Made Climate Change. "Scientists are nearly unanimous in laying the blame for rising temperatures on greenhouse gas emissions. Of course there are also reasons for skepticism. The earth may be getting warmer, but there have been numerous times in the earth's history when temperatures have been warmer than they are now. Climate cycles with great variations in temperature predate the greenhouse gas emissions of the past three centuries, and they even predate the rise of human populations. In fact, climate change has been going on from the beginning of the world; it is certainly not a new phenomenon. Even the apparent unity among scientists is not a sure indicator of scientific fact." [Mitt Romney, No Apology, p. 227, March 2, 2010]
  • Promises March 2010: In Book, Romney Says We 'Cannot Indefinitely Afford' To Wait To Choose A 'Game-Changing Approach' To Deal With Climate Change. "Four game-changing approaches are currently in broad debate, each with distinct advantages and disadvantages. Simply pointing out the problems with each is a luxury we cannot indefinitely afford--we will need to choose the best alternative among those we already know, or develop a new one." The approaches he describes are: cap-and-trade, "a wide array of government mandates, standards, and subsidies," "a direct oil or carbon tax," and a "tax swap" pairing a carbon tax with a reduction in the payroll tax. [Mitt Romney, No Apology, p. 243, March 2, 2010]
  • Affirmation June 2011: Romney Says That 'Humans Contribute' To 'Global Warming' And 'Climate Change' And 'It's Important For Us To Reduce Our Emissions Of Pollutants And Greenhouse Gases.' "I don't speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world's getting warmer. I can't prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don't know how much our contribution is to that, because I know that there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past but I believe we contribute to that. And so I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you're seeing." [Romney Town Hall in Manchester NH, ThinkProgress, June 3, 2011]
  • Denial July 2011: Romney Says EPA Regulation Of 'Carbon Emissions' Is A 'Mistake' Because 'I Don't Think Carbon Is A Pollutant In The Sense Of Harming Our Bodies.' At a town hall meeting in Derry, NH, Romney answers a voter's question about EPA regulating air pollution from coal plants under the Clean Air Act: "I think we may have made a mistake. We have made a mistake is what I believe, in saying that the EPA should regulate carbon emissions. I don't think that was the intent of the original legislation, and I don't think carbon is a pollutant in the sense of harming our bodies. My view is that the EPA in getting into carbon and regulating carbon has gone beyond the original intent of that legislation, and I would not take it there. But I do believe in making sure that we reduce the pollutants that harm our health." [Romney at Derry NH Town Hall meeting, July 14, 2011]
  • Denial August 2011: Romney Says 'I Think' That 'The World's Getting Hotter' But 'I Don't Know If It's Mostly Caused By Humans' And 'I'm Not Willing' To 'Spend Trillions Of Dollars.' "Do I think the world's getting hotter? Yeah, I don't know that, but I think that it is. I don't know if it's mostly caused by humans. ... What I'm not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don't know the answer to." [Romney in Lebanon NH, CNN, Aug. 24, 2011]
  • Denial August 2011: Romney Dodges Question About His Equivocation About Man-Made Global Warming. "I think the Earth is getting warmer. I think humans contribute to that. I don't know by how much. It could be a little. Could be a lot. I don't know by how much. And so I'm not willing on that basis to spend trillions of dollars trying to stop in America for instance, the emissions of CO2. So what it leads me to is an energy policy that some call a "no regrets policy", meaning take action that you would take anyway that has the byproduct of reducing CO2." "These things will get us on track to becoming energy independent and energy secure and as a byproduct they'll reduce CO2. Maybe that'll help. Maybe it won't. I don't know. But if we reduce CO2, why it can't hurt. At least I don't think it can hurt. And my own view is I'm not a scientist. I can't tell you how much of the warming I think we're experiencing is caused by human beings. It may be a lot. It may be a little." [Romney at Dover, NH Town Hall, Aug. 25, 2011]
  • Denial October 2011: Romney Says 'We Contribute' To The Earth 'Getting Warmer' But May Be 'A Lot Or A Little' So Opposes 'Multi-Trillion Dollar Programs To Reduce Greenhouse Gases In America.' "One, I believe what I said before, I think it's getting warmer. Two, I believe we contribute to it. And three, I don't know by how much -- a lot or a little. And so I am not willing to adopt multi-trillion dollar programs to reduce greenhouse gases in America. They don't call it America warming, they call it global warming." [Romney Interviewed By NH Newspaper, C-SPAN, Oct. 3, 2011]
  • Denial October 2011: Romney Says 'We Don't Know What's Causing Climate Change' And Opposes 'Spending Trillions And Trillions Of Dollars To Try To Reduce CO2 Emissions.' Appearing at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, PA, on October 27, 2011, Mitt Romney attacks the idea of responding to climate change. "My view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us." [Romney at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh PA, ThinkProgress, Oct. 27, 2011]
  • Denial November 2011: Romney Says His Equivocal Stand On Climate Change Is 'Right And Reasoned.' "As we began with on the policy related to warming, I'm happy to elaborate to make sure people understand exactly where I am. But I do know in the world of politics that if you have a position like mine, which says, look I think there's probably global warming and I think humans contribute to it, but I don't know how much. And therefore I'm not willing to spend trillions of dollars on global warming projects. That's not an extreme position one way or the other. I'm not saying, "Global warming, stop all emissions!" or "There's no such thing as global warming," those things you're strong one way or the other. My position is, frankly, I think right and reasoned, but requires more than one sentence to answer, and therefore, now and than can be used as a way to try and miscategorize my views." [Romney meeting with the editorial board of the Portsmouth Herald, Nov. 3, 2011]
  • Exacerbation November 2011: Romney Opposes CO2 Regulation Because 'I Exhale Carbon Dioxide.' At a campaign event in Manchester, NH: "I'm all in favor of eliminating pollution. Now I know there is also a movement to say that carbon dioxide should be guided or should be managed by the Environmental Protection Agency. I disagree with that. I exhale carbon dioxide. I don't want those guys following me around with a meter to see if I'm breathing too hard." [Romney in Manchester NH, Nov. 18, 2011]
  • Exacerbation December 2011: Romney Says EPA 'Out Of Control,' A Tool 'To Crush Our Ability To Have Energy' And 'Grab More Power,' Would 'Get The EPA Out Of Its Effort To Manage Carbon Dioxide Emissions' Because 'That Was Not A Pollutant' According To Clean Air Act. In the Mike Huckabee Republican Presidential Forum on December 3, 2011, Romney said he would block the EPA from regulating carbon pollution. "I think the EPA has gotten completely out of control for a very simple reason. It is a tool in the hands of the president to crush the private enterprise system, to crush our ability to have energy, whether it's oil, gas, coal, nuclear... there's a real effort on the part of some in the president's party that don't like the American enterprise system and are trying to find a way to do everything they can to impede the growth of our economy and our energy independence." "But the EPA wants to be able to get in and grab more power and basically try and move the whole economy away from oil, gas, coal, nuclear and push it into the renewables. Look, we all like the renewables. But renewables alone are not going to power this economy. And yeah, I would, among other things, I would get the EPA out of its effort to manage carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles and trucks. Look, that was not a pollutant within the meaning of the legislation that authorized the EPA. It is of all the agencies in Washington, it is the one most being used by this President to try and hold down and crush and insert the federal government into the life of the private sector." [Huckabee Republican Presidential Candidate Forum, Crooks & Liars, Dec. 3, 2011]
  • Denial December 2011: Romney Says 'I Think The Earth Is Getting Warmer' And 'I Think We Contribute' But 'I Don't Know How Much' So He Won't 'Spend Trillions And Trillions Of Dollars To Stop The Emission Of Greenhouse Gases' And Instead Will 'Develop The Energy Resources We Have In America.' "I am not a scientist. I have not built a model of how the environment, the earth works. I think the Earth is getting warmer. I may be wrong. Number two, I think we contribute to that. Number three, I don't know how much we contribute to that. My energy policy does not say let's spend trillions and trillions of dollars to stop the emission of greenhouse gases, instead let's develop the energy resources we have in America." [Romney at Horry-Georgetown Technical College Grand Stand Campus in Myrtle Beach, SC, Dec. 17, 2011]
  • Affirmation January 2012: Romney Says 'Young People' Are 'Concerned About Issues Like Global Warming And Things Of That Nature.' "Our young people have a great deal of concern. They're a very humanitarian people. They're concerned about issues like global warming and things of that nature, and they're concerned about humanity." [Romney speech to members of the Hispanic Leadership Network in Miami, FL, Jan. 27, 2012]
  • Exacerbation August 2012: Romney Unveils Energy Plan To 'Exclude Carbon Dioxide' From Clean Air Act, Develop 'Cornucopia Of Carbon-Based Resources.' On August 3, Romney unveils his economic plan, including energy and environment policy. Regulatory changes include "Amend Clean Air Act to exclude carbon dioxide from its purview." The plan also says: "The United States is blessed with a cornucopia of carbon-based energy resources. Developing them has been a pathway to prosperity for the nation in the past and offers similar promise for the future." [Romney Energy Plan, Aug. 3, 2012]
  • Exacerbation August 2012: Romney Says 'We Have 250 Years Of Coal, Why In The Heck Wouldn't We Use It?' Claims Obama Is 'Waging War On Coal' And Praises 'Inexpensive Carbon-Based Resources.' "We have 250 years of coal. Why in the heck wouldn't we use it? And so I want to take advantage of those energy resources. Of course I like all of those sources of energy. You have probably heard the president say he`s for all of the above. And I wondered what he meant, because I see how he's been waging war on coal. And I wondered how could he possibly say that? Then it came to me. He`s for all the sources of energy that come from above the ground, none of those that come from below the ground, like oil and coal and gas. I'm for all of the above, whether it comes above the ground or below the ground. We're going to take advantage of our energy resources to save your jobs, to create more jobs. And, by the way, when we use our plentiful energy resources, our inexpensive carbon-based energy resources, you're going to see manufacturing come back to America. It's not just in this community that jobs will be grown and created. It will be in other parts of our nation as well. We're going to bring jobs back in part by that first step I'm going to take, which is to take advantage of our energy resources." [Romney speech to coal miners in Beallsville, OH, Aug. 14, 2012]
  • Denial August 2012: Romney Mocks Obama's Climate Promises. "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. MY promise...is to help you and your family." "His assault on coal and gas and oil will send energy and manufacturing jobs to China." "First, by 2020, North America will be energy independent by taking full advantage of our oil and coal and gas and nuclear and renewables." [RNC Convention Speech, Aug. 30, 2012]
  • Denial September 2012: Romney Says 'I'm Not In This Race To Slow The Rise Of The Oceans Or To Heal The Planet.' "But the reason I'm in this race is to help people. I'm not in this race to slow the rise of the oceans or to heal the planet. I'm in this race to help the American people." [Romney on Meet the Press, Sept. 9, 2012]
  • Exacerbation October 2012: Romney Makes False Claims About 'Green Energy,' Says 'I Like Coal,' Promises To Double Oil And Gas Leases, Promotes Keystone XL, Ignores Climate Change. "One, get us energy independent, North American energy independent. That creates about 4 million jobs." (This figure is fabricated and ignores the costs of unlimited drilling.) "Energy is critical, and the president pointed out correctly that production of oil and gas in the U.S. is up. But not due to his policies. In spite of his policies. Mr. President, all of the increase in natural gas and oil has happened on private land, not on government land. On government land, your administration has cut the number of permits and licenses in half." (These claims are false.) "If I'm president, I'll double them, and also get the -- the oil from offshore and Alaska. And I'll bring that pipeline in from Canada. And, by the way, I like coal. I'm going to make sure we can continue to burn clean coal. People in the coal industry feel like it's getting crushed by your policies." (The coal industry wants to pollute for free and blame Obama instead of free-market competition.) "I want to get America and North America energy independent so we can create those jobs." “You put $90 billion into -- into green jobs. And I -- look, I'm all in favor of green energy. $90 billion, that would have -- that would have hired 2 million teachers. $90 billion. And these businesses, many of them have gone out of business, I think about half of them, of the ones have been invested in have gone out of business.” (Romney is "not even within hailing distance of the truth.") "First of all, the Department of Energy has said the tax break for oil companies is $2.8 billion a year. And it's actually an accounting treatment, as you know, that's been in place for a hundred years." "And in one year, you provided $90 billion in breaks to the green energy world. Now, I like green energy as well, but that's about 50 years' worth of what oil and gas receives. And you say Exxon and Mobil. Actually, this $2.8 billion goes largely to small companies, to drilling operators and so forth." Romney is dissembling on the value of the oil industry's subsidies, even ignoring the unpriced cost of carbon pollution.) "But, you know, if we get that tax rate from 35 percent down to 25 percent, why that $2.8 billion is on the table. Of course it's on the table. That's probably not going to survive you get that rate down to 25 percent." "But don't forget, you put $90 billion, like 50 years' worth of breaks, into -- into solar and wind, to Solyndra and Fisker and Tester and Ener1. I mean, I had a friend who said you don't just pick the winners and losers, you pick the losers, all right? So this -- this is not -- this is not the kind of policy you want to have if you want to get America energy secure." (This is a false attack on innovative entrepreneurship.) [First Presidential Debate, Oct. 3, 2012]
  • Exacerbation October 2012: In Iowa, Romney Attacks EPA, Cap And Trade, Promises To ‘Cut Back On Regulation.’ “The regulatory burden under this administration has just gone crazy. The President's regulations as it relates to farming are kind of interesting. One is, the EPA tried to get into, er, the government tried to get into regulating rainwater in ditches on farms. It used to be that there was rainwater in Iowa, and people cared about it - we hope it's coming back soon. But in addition, they want to regulate dust, they want to impose duplicate rules on pesticides, there was an effort - you recall this - to prevent teenagers from being able to work certain functions on farms. And then there's pushing cap and trade. I understand that cap and trade will not only massively affect income of farms, but it will take millions of acres out of farming. My own view on regulation is different. You have to have regulation, you need regulation for markets to work effectively. But I'm going to cut back on regulation. I'm going to put a cap on regulation." [Romney in Van Meter, IA, Oct. 9, 2012]