For the first time since the Carter Administration, solar panels are going up on the roof of the White House. It's part of a mandate towards renewable energy in the federal government, but also a symbolic gesture that the president is plowing ahead with his green energy agenda, regardless of congressional opposition.
It's a policy that EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy affirmed Wednesday at the University of Colorado, Boulder. "He said that he wasn't going to wait for Congress, but that he had administrative authorities," she said. "It was time to start utilizing those more effectively, in a more concerted way."
Marc Morano,a global warming skeptic and publisher of the website ClimateDepot.com, applauds the administration's strategy, if not its purpose.
"The Obama administration is being strategically brilliant by doing this behind the scenes," he says. "They're going to achieve everything that cap and trade, and UN treaties and even a carbon tax would achieve through the invisibility of federal regulations. "
However, EPA's regulatory battle against global warming did encounter two potentially powerful head winds this week.
In a suit brought by the Landmark Legal Foundation,a federal judge slapped down EPA's responses to Freedom of Information Act requests for alias email accounts used by former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson and others.
Judge Royce Lamberth said the responses "... contain numerous inconsistencies and reversals which undermine confidence in their truthfulness."
Lamberth’s ruling means that the Landmark Legal Foundation now has the right to conduct discovery of EPA's emails and the right to depose high ranking EPA officials - presumably including Jackson, who used the alias "Richard Windsor" in some emails, and her successor, McCarthy.
A day after Lamberth's ruling, two lawmakers, Rep. Daryl Issa (R-Ca.) and Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) wrote Jackson, demanding all of her personal emails over the last four years that relate to her official duties. They are concerned the emails were "a deliberate attempt to circumvent federal transparency laws and Congressional oversight."
The scrutiny comes amid what some believe is administration intolerance for any dissent in the global warming debate, as evidenced by recent comments from Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
She told a gathering of Interior Department staffers on July 31, "I hope there are no climate change deniers in the Department of Interior. If you don't believe in it," she said, "come out into the resources, go into some BLM land, go up to Alaska where the permafrost is melting, go into the Sierra, which used to retain a lot more water in its frozen form."
Morano believes the statement smacks of intimidation. ""They're saying if you're a skeptic and you work for the administration, you better keep your mouth shut and not express your views."
He also points out that the scientific method is based upon skepticism and continually challenging assumptions, not accepting them.
Morano's website is a repository of global warming skepticism. He points to new studies from highly credentialed Russian skeptics, including scientists from Russia's Pulkovo Observatory and Academy of Sciences, who are predicting,based upon a diminution of sunspot activity, a mini-ice age lasting up to 250 years.
Doug McKelway joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in November 2010 and serves as a Washington-based correspondent.