Obama Making Plans to Tackle Global Warming; President to Tap Executive Powers to Curb Emissions

St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), June 20, 2013 | Go to article overview

Obama Making Plans to Tackle Global Warming; President to Tap Executive Powers to Curb Emissions


WASHINGTON * President Barack Obama is planning a major push using executive powers to tackle the pollution blamed for global warming in an effort to make good on promises he made at the start of his second term. "We know we have to do more and we will do more," Obama said Wednesday in Berlin.

Obama's senior energy and climate adviser, Heather Zichal, said the plan would boost energy efficiency of appliances and buildings, expand renewable energy and use the Environmental Protection Agency's authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate heat- trapping pollution from coal-fired power plants.

Zichal, speaking at a forum hosted by The New Republic in Washington, said that none of the proposals would require new funding or action from Congress. It has shown no appetite for legislation that would put a price on carbon dioxide after a White House-backed bill to set up a market-based system died in Obama's first term with Democrats in charge.

The plan, with details expected to be revealed in coming weeks, comes as Obama has been under increasing pressure from environmental groups and lawmakers from states harmed by Superstorm Sandy to cut pollution from existing power plants, the largest source of climate- altering gases. Several major environmental groups and states have threatened to sue the administration to force cuts to power plant emissions. And just last week, former Vice President Al Gore, a prominent climate activist and fellow Democrat, pointedly called on Obama to go beyond "great words" to "great actions."

It was unclear whether the White House's plans would include controls on existing power plants. An administration official, who wasn't authorized to comment on the plan by name, said the White House was still weighing it. But since the administration has already proposed action on future power plants, the law would likely compel it to eventually tackle the remaining plants, or it would be forced to through litigation. …

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