The advocate is also concerned that Obama might not fulfill the promises he announces tomorrow.
"If I had to bet, I'd bet that this was good news and he'll follow through on this stuff. On the other hand, I wouldn't bet the farm on it," the advocate said. "If EPA were proposing existing power plant standards on Tuesday, that would be one thing. But that's certainly not going to happen. I wouldn't be surprised to see the proposal date, you know, in six months to a year, which means that the final would be during the presidential campaign season.
"So it's vulnerable to the same sorts of excuses that were used for not doing anything before."
The details of Obama's plan are unknown, but it is clear to many that the announcement marks the first big action on climate change since three years ago, when the Senate failed to approve a House-passed cap-and-trade bill.
Paul Bledsoe, who worked in the White House on climate issues under President Clinton, sees Obama's action as a sign of his personal concern about the impacts of rising carbon dioxide, which recently passed 400 parts per million, a measurement not seen on Earth for tens of thousands of years.
"It is also critical that the U.S. show leadership in cutting emissions if we are to compel other major emitters like China to do so," Bledsoe said. "Domestic and international climate action are both essential to address the problem."
In the video, Obama makes his case to the public without mentioning politics and the likelihood that climate policies will stoke partisan divisions. Instead, he bases his appeal on the idea that it's a threat facing the nation.
"So I hope you'll share this message with your friend, because this is a challenge that affects everyone," the president says. "And we all have a stake in solving it together."
Reprinted from Climatewire with permission from Environment & Energy Publishing, LLC. www.eenews.net, 202-628-6500