Industry Celebrates Obama's Climate Caution, Enviros Self-Censor

Despite Barack Obama's bold rhetoric on global warming, the administration is pursuing a more timid line both domestically and in international negotiations leading to the COP15 conference in Copenhagen in December. John M. Broder notes that Jonathan Pershing, the U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change, defended the Obama administration's lack of leadership in negotiations on the grounds that it was waiting to gauge domestic political support, technological capacity and whether Congress is willing to set specific greenhouse gas emission reduction targets. While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers have publicly welcomed the administration's cautious approach, major environmental groups prefer to remain mute. Broder writes that while environmental advocates are "frustrated," most are "reluctant to speak on the record for fear of alienating their allies inside government."