Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said he thinks Congress has embraced the idea that the U.S. must act on climate change.
“I believe, frankly, we have turned a corner on that issue,” Moniz said Thursday at a Washington event hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Moniz acknowledged it’s not “uniform, 100 percent” that lawmakers agree climate change is occurring. Still, he said Capitol Hill has moved beyond “whether we need to respond” to how to meet the challenges global warming poses.
Many conservatives in both the House and the Senate, however, deny or are skeptical of the scientific consensus that human activity is pumping climate change-driving greenhouse gases into the air.
They and centrist Democrats have been critical of the plan President Obama rolled out in June.
The centerpiece of that strategy is emissions rules for new and existing power plants. Opponents say the new regulations will hurt the economy by raising energy prices, while advocates say they are necessary to make a dent in mitigating climate change.
Moniz on Thursday touted Obama’s plan as one of the ways the nation is addressing the issue, and held out hope that Congress would at some point pass climate legislation.