Obama Vows Defense of Environment, Use of Veto Authority if Necessary in 2015

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By Anthony Adragna

Dec. 29 — President Barack Obama said he expects in 2015 to veto legislation that would block or impede his environmental policies.

“I suspect there are going to be some times where I've got to pull that [veto] pen out,” Obama said in an interview with NPR released Dec. 29. “I'm going to defend gains that we've made on environment and clean air and clean water.”

Obama specifically named the environment as one of two areas—the other being health care—in which he expects to veto legislation seeking to undermine his signature policies.

Republicans will take control of both chambers of Congress in 2015 and have promised to pursue legislation that would block or undermine Obama's climate change and environmental priorities.

Chief among the lawmakers' targets will be three Environmental Protection Agency regulations: carbon pollution standards for power plants, revisions to the national ozone standard and a jurisdictional rule defining the scope of the Clean Water Act.

White House officials previously told Bloomberg BNA they knew there will be attempts to target regulatory efforts on climate change through standalone legislation or the appropriations process but said they were confident the administration would “prevail.” Obama hadn't previously spoken directly to how he would approach any anti-environmental legislation.

In the wide-ranging interview with NPR, Obama also spoke of the U.S. being better positioned for the future than it has been in many years, thanks in part to its energy resources.

“Our energy resources, both conventional and clean energy resources, put most other of our competitors to shame,” Obama said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Anthony Adragna in Washington at aadragna@bna.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at lpearl@bna.com