Obama aide hints climate will stay in campaign background

“Clearly that stands in contrast with Mitt Romney,” Reynolds said. “Voters that are concerned about that issue are going to make that choice in November, and we think that choice is pretty clear.”

White House-backed cap-and-trade and energy legislation cleared the House in 2009 but sputtered thereafter. However, the Obama administration has moved ahead — albeit slower than many activists had hoped — with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) climate regulations.

Administration officials have also touted the greenhouse gas benefits of rules that have substantially toughened auto mileage standards for model years 2012-2016, and more stringent standards for 2017-2025 are en route.

Romney now opposes cap-and-trade, and his campaign platform also calls for nullifying EPA’s authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

Obama, on the stump in recent months, has touted his green energy initiatives while largely steering clear of addressing global warming head-on.

The League of Conservation Voters launched a petition this week to pressure Jim Lehrer of PBS, who will moderate the first presidential debate Oct. 3, to ask about climate.