President Barack Obama delivered the annual State of the Union address on Tuesday night and included a stern warning to the GOP-dominated Senate and House of Representatives that he would veto bills that seek to block tighter limits on greenhouse gas emissions.
The chief executive’s words came during a four-paragraph riff on climate change.
“The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate, and if we do not act forcefully, we’ll continue to see rising oceans, longer, hotter heat waves, dangerous droughts and floods, and massive disruptions that can trigger greater migration, conflict, and hunger around the globe,” Obama said. “The Pentagon says that climate change poses immediate risks to our national security. We should act like it.”
Obama said he would not go along with any effort by Congress to reverse course on climate policy.
“I am determined to make sure American leadership drives international action. In Beijing, we made an historic announcement — the United States will double the pace at which we cut carbon pollution, and China committed, for the first time, to limiting their emissions,” the President said. “And because the world’s two largest economies came together, other nations are now stepping up, and offering hope that, this year, the world will finally reach an agreement to protect the one planet we’ve got.”
A website maintained by the House of Representatives’ GOP caucus later posted a poorly-edited version of the State of the Union address, in which some of Mr. Obama’s comments about climate change were omitted.
Among the regulations aimed at limiting greenhouse gas emissions proposed by the administration are two that affect new and existing coal-fired power plants. Republicans on Capitol Hill want to block those rules.