After the issue of climate change all but disappeared in the presidential election, many people were surprised when Mr. Obama used his second inaugural address to call for drastic curbs on carbon emissions.
Republicans, who control the House though, are focused on expanding oil and gas drilling and ending some renewable energy tax breaks. So Boxer wants the president to use the power of the Environmental Protection Agency.
BOXER: "EPA has control over probably about more than 70% of the problem. Electrical sources are responsible for a good portion, industrial sources and transportation."
As chair of the Senate environment committee Boxer knows the political reality limits her options. She says she's drafting legislation with that in mind.
BOXER: "Eleven percent of emissions are related to buildings, so we're going to push forward with energy efficiency and other things."
Even Boxer's limited climate legislation is likely to spark a political battle, but she says she will not back down.