“President has the best interests of the EPA in mind”

After mid-term elections that saw the Senate change hands from the Democrats to the Republicans and increased the GOP’s representation in the House, many in the GOP are saying the American people have spoken out loud and clear against President Obama’s political agenda, including initiatives about climate.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) said “The American people spoke against the President’s climate policies in this last election.” Inhofe, who is expected to chair the subcommittee overseeing the EPA, also said “As we enter a new Congress, I will do everything in my power to rein in and shed light on the EPA’s unchecked regulations.”

During a breakfast hosted by The Christian Science Monitor, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy commented that the agency does not plan to let the incoming Republican Senate stop it. “When you survey folks, they’re worried about climate change and they want us to do something,” said McCarthy.

Even as the incoming Congress gears up to fight President Obama on EPA regulations, McCarthy is confident that regulating climate change will continue to be a priority of the administration. “I feel very confident that the president has the best interests of the EPA in mind, and he’s made very clear what his priorities are. There may be challenges ahead, but the president will do the right thing.”

Obama’s latest climate actions include an agreement with China, committing the United States to bolder emissions cuts and committing China to peak its emissions by 2030. And over the weekend at the G20 summit in Australia, the president pledged the U.S. would contribute $3 billion to help poor countries adapt to climate change.

It remains to be seen, however, which side of the climate debate will win out when the new session of Congress starts next year. The EPA and Obama are planning to continue working on lowering emissions, but they have a fight ahead of them. Members of both the House and the Senate believe many of the environmental regulations passed by the Obama administration have been harmful to job growth, and with the Republicans taking control of the Senate next year, the EPA may have a hard time continuing along its current course.

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