Editor’s note: Arctic explorer Eric Larsen is trying to make it to the North and South Poles and the summit of Mount Everest in 365 days as part of an effort to raise awareness about climate change. Larsen joined us on American Morning before he set out on his Save the Poles expedition. Below is an excerpt from his online journal.
By Eric Larsen
On Tuesday, the Center for Biological Diversity's Climate Law Institute released a report demonstrating that President Obama has clear legal authority to commit the United States to reducing greenhouse gas pollution.
The report, titled “Yes, He Can: President Obama's Power to Make an International Climate Commitment Without Waiting for Congress”, concludes that the President need not wait for Congress to act before taking strong action to reduce U.S. emissions.
The report was released at an event hosted by Greenpeace at the conference site. The take away: President Obama's hands are not tied by Congress's lack of action or the grossly inadequate cap-and-trade bills currently under debate. President Obama can lead, rather than follow, by using his power under the Clean Air Act and other laws to achieve deep and rapid greenhouse emissions reductions from major polluters. The Constitution and existing domestic environmental laws give President Obama all the power he needs to join with other nations in making a real commitment to solve the climate crisis.