With most signs pointing toward a Republican victory in the midterm elections, is the Obama administration feeling the heat on climate-change policy?
It doesn't look like it. Pressed by Jonathan Allen on carbon policy and more at the Washington Ideas Forum Thursday, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz was as unruffled as his famous hairstyle. Moniz said the White House was ready to forge ahead on carbon-reduction plans, offered no indication that it would change its view on the future of coal in America, and vowed to use executive actions to implement its climate-action plan, even if congressional Republicans don't like it.
"There isn’t a war on coal," Moniz said. "There is, make no bones about it, a fundamental commitment, that starts with the president, on moving to a low-carbon future."
Obama's alleged antipathy to coal has been a major issue in some races, pulling down Democrats running in Appalachian states—in particular Senate nominees Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky and Natalie Tennant of West Virginia, and Representative Nick Rahall of West Virginia. But Moniz said the administration really is committed to an "all of the above" energy policy, which means recognizing that coal is an essential (if shrinking) part of the U.S. portfolio and investing in ways to get the most energy from it with the lowest possible emissions.