This commentary details the United States’ progress in advancing climate change law since President Barrack Obama’s re-election in 2012, in spite of congressional dysfunction and opposition. It describes how the Obama administration is building upon earlier regulatory efforts by using existing statutory authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from both new and existing power plants. It also explains the important role the judiciary has played in facilitating more robust executive actions, while at the same time courts have rejected citizen efforts to force judicial remedies for the problem of climate change. Finally, it suggests some reasons why climate change has gained more prominence in the Obama administration’s second term agenda and considers how domestic actions help the United States to reposition itself in international climate diplomacy.
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