Obama says he’s done talking about climate change, but he’s not done talking to Democrats
By NBC News | Updated May 22, 2018 07:18:17President Barack Obama is not ready to talk about the climate crisis and said Tuesday that he doesn’t know if the US has the political will to do anything about it.
Obama made the comments during a visit to the University of Utah’s Brigham Young University campus during which he touted the administration’s efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and push the world toward a low-carbon future.
“The reality is, I’m not ready for the conversation about climate because it is too late,” Obama said.
“And I think that’s what we’ve got to be focused on.”
Obama spoke on a number of issues in his speech, including the role of women and LGBT people in American society and how to combat climate change.
But he also took aim at Republican opponents of his climate agenda, including former President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who recently accused Obama of a lack of leadership.
The president said he was disappointed that McConnell refused to vote for the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry oil from Canada to the Gulf Coast, but said he had faith in the Senate majority leader and his colleagues.
“I’m confident in the American people that they’ll get through this,” Obama told the university audience.
“And I’ve got a lot of faith in them.”
Republicans have repeatedly criticized Obama for not going far enough in pushing for a federal climate policy and a major initiative to curb emissions from power plants and vehicles, which is known as CO2 reduction.
They say he has made too little progress in his efforts and are working on legislation that would require new regulations and penalties on companies that fail to reduce their emissions.
In an effort to keep Republicans in check, Obama made a point of saying that the Senate would not act until a new administration takes over the White House.
“If we’re not doing the things that we need to do to put Americans back to work and protect their jobs, we’re going to be back to where we were, because they’re not going to get to do what they need to get done,” Obama concluded.