For the U.S. News and World Report’s Debate Club, I have a new piece looking at how climate change fit into this week’s State of the Union address. President Obama has built himself an impressively strong legacy as a leader on climate issues, with new EPA regulations on power plants and an agreement with the Chinese to work harder on emissions reductions and clean energy cooperation. The work for the United States has not finished, however. It will be up to Obama’s successor to cement a lot of these gains:

While he has scored diplomatic success with the Chinese, the road to a universal agreement at global climate change talks in Paris is much less clear. The president has disappointed climate activists in not immediately rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline, which only occasioned an oblique reference in last night’s speech. His recently announced regulations on fugitive methane emissions from oil and gas drilling also struck many as insufficient. These are agenda items that need to be addressed in the near-term, but it is to the president’s credit that he has set such a strong foundation for U.S. climate policy going forward.

You can read the entire piece at U.S. News and World Report.