By ANDREW RESTUCCIA
21 January 2013
Vice President Joe Biden reassured environmentalists Sunday night that the Obama administration would not let climate change fall by the wayside in the president's second term.
"I'll tell you what my green dream is: that we finally face up to climate change," Biden said during a surprise appearance at the "Green Ball," an inaugural weekend event for environmental groups.
The vice president stressed that the environment would not be a second-tier issue and thanked the environmental community for its support for the president.
"I came to say thank you," Biden said to thunderous applause.
While the green groups credit President Barack Obama with making significant progress on environmental issues, including with new regulations on power plant emissions and a dramatic jump in vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, many complain that he has done too little to address what scientists call an increasing threat of catastrophic climate change. The major strategy for dealing with that problem, through cap and trade, died in the Senate during Obama's first term.
Greens are looking for any sign that Obama will offer a new strategy for addressing climate. They're also calling on the president to use his rhetorical powers to drum up public support for the cause and to impose even tighter regulations on greenhouse gas emissions.
Biden offered no details about what the administration's approach will be but said, "I don't intend on ending this four years without getting an awful lot more done.”
He added: "Keep the faith."
And, in an apparent knock to Republicans who question climate science, he said, "There is science in the White House." [more]