According to Politico, advocates of action on climate change are growing increasingly frustrated and warning that we're running out of time. The frustration boils down to the following:
Instead of taking bold steps, Obama’s environmental regulators are dodging questions about how they intend to rein in the nation’s largest sources of greenhouse gases. They missed a major deadline last month for rolling out rules for future power plants, prompting environmental groups and several states to threaten lawsuits. And the EPA has insisted to Congress that it’s not even working on regulations for the next piece of the carbon puzzle — the nation’s vast fleet of existing power plants.
Meanwhile, signs are growing that the administration is poised to approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, despite pleas from his green activist supporters.
“If a second-term president after the hottest year in history, the biggest city inundated by flooding following a devastating hurricane … can’t make even a gesture as easy as stopping one pipeline to Canada, one has to wonder when exactly we’re going to see serious action,” said Bill McKibben, an activist who has organized mass sit-ins outside the White House to protest Keystone.
Of course, Congress hasn't been at all forthcoming in terms of taking action on climate change or on overall U.S. energy policy either, and there's little realistic prospect of that changing anytime soon. Which kicks it right back to the executive branch, for better or for worse. That's why, as Eric Pooley of the Environmental Defense Fund puts it, "Finishing the rule for new power plants, then moving on to existing plants, is greens’ 'No. 1 policy goal for the second term.'" This is something the Environmental Protection Agency has authority to do; the question is, when (whether?) will they do it?