"President Barack Obama has vowed to tackle climate change in his second term, but so far has not acted to strengthen a tool that does not require backing from Congress - the National Environmental Policy Act."
"NEPA, a statute that dates to the Nixon administration, calls on officials to weigh whether projects such as highways, dams or oil drilling could harm the environment.
While it does not have the power to block development, NEPA forces officials to consider the environment before approving federal projects, and the White House has proposed that climate change should rank high among those concerns.
In early 2010, the White House suggested it would make an update to NEPA that would require counting greenhouse gas emissions among the impacts worthy of a NEPA review. But those standards have been on ice ever since they were written."