Another of Obama's goals — to prepare communities for the inevitable effects of climate change — appears to be more aspiration than concrete plan. Community leaders and environmental activists say that what cities and states need to prepare for flooding and higher temperatures is money — something Obama is hard-pressed to provide without Congress' go-ahead.
Sidestepping Congress by using executive action doesn't guarantee Obama smooth sailing. Lawmakers could introduce legislation to thwart Obama's efforts. And the rules for existing power plants will almost certainly face legal challenges in court.