In the coming weeks the Obama administration is expected to announce climate policy initiatives according to comments made by Heather Zichal, the White House coordinator for energy and climate change. There are three areas that are likely to be the focus of the administration’s attention.
Areas of focus
- Reducing carbon emissions from power plants.
- Improving the energy efficiency of appliances.
- Expanding the development of clean energy on public land.
- It has also been said that one of the initiatives being considered will require legislative action or even financing from Congress.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama vowed to act on climate change if Congress refused to. However, with a Republican controlled House, a struggling economy, and the administration’s commitment to develop North American energy supplies, including shale gas, these climate policies will face an uphill battle.
Environmental Protection Agency
The EPA is currently developing rules on carbon emissions for new power plants and then would tackle existing facilities. The move would be the most consequential climate policy step President Obama could take and is likely to provoke legal challenges from the Republicans and some industries. The administration has already begun steps to restrict climate altering emissions from any new built power plants, but imposing carbon standards on the existing utility fleet would be much more contentious.
Adapted from Press release by Claira Lloyd.
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