The world is closely watching whether the United States can keep its commitment on curbing greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants. The United States has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which calls for a worldwide cut in greenhouse gas emissions, and has been hesitant to sign off on a worldwide climate treaty. The United States is the largest source of petroleum-related carbon dioxide emissions, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
President Obama put climate change at the top of his agenda at the United Nations General Assembly gathering and the G-20 Summits last week. Touting the United States' investment in clean energy and green technology, he called on world leaders of both the developed world and developing countries to do their part in meeting this challenge.
"It is work that will not be easy," the president said Sept. 22 at the U.N. Climate Change Summit. "We seek sweeping but necessary change in the midst of a global recession, where every nation's most immediate priority is reviving their economy and putting their people back to work. And so, all of us will face doubts and difficulties in our own capitals as we try to reach a lasting solution to the climate challenge. But difficulty is no excuse for complacency. Unease is no excuse for inaction."
The future of the Senate's Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Bill remains to be seen. Supporters will need 60 votes for the bill to pass, after which it will go to Obama's hands.
As to when the administration would like to see the bill pass, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs was non-committal today, except to say, "As soon as it can get passed."