June 25 2013

Obama Tackles Climate Change

Vicki E. Alger

Later today, President Obama will unveil his plan to avert “the global threat of our time,” namely climate change. The New York Times reports that included in the president’s plan are carbon limits, new fuel efficiency standards, and billions of dollars in international environmental aid.

Taken together, the officials said, the pieces of the plan would help the United States to meet Mr. Obama’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by about 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. That was the promise Mr. Obama made at the United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen in December 2009.

Harvard University’s Center for the Environment head Daniel P. Schrag, a White House climate change advisor, hailed the plan.

Everybody is waiting for action…The one thing the president really needs to do now is to begin the process of shutting down the conventional coal plants. Politically, the White House is hesitant to say they’re having a war on coal. On the other hand, a war on coal is exactly what’s needed.

As it is, more than 250 coal plants are set to close largely due to proliferating regulations—triple the number predicted by the EPA. Democratic lawmakers and governors are fighting back against new regulations that will in effect ban new coal plants. As the Daily Caller reports:

The EPA is in the process of finalizing greenhouse gas emissions limits for new power plants that would make it essentially impossible for coal-fired power plants to comply unless they utilized carbon capture technology — which isn’t yet commercially viable.

Consumers are increasingly demanding cleaner fuels that they can afford. Let producers respond to that demand rather than putting them on the endangered species list.

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