President Barack Obama in July will announce a plan to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.
Tackling climate change will be a second term priority, the White House coordinator for energy and climate change, Heather Zichal, said Wednesday at a forum sponsored by The New Republic, reported The New York Times.
“The administration has already begun steps to restrict climate-altering emissions from any newly built power plants, but imposing carbon standards on the existing utility fleet would be vastly more costly and contentious,” Zichal said.
The administration’s plans include measures that don’t require congressional action, such as pushing energy efficiency standards for appliances, clean-energy production on public lands and regulations to curb carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants, according to Bloomberg News.
The New York Times reported that electric power plants are the largest source of global warming pollution in the country, reaching nearly 40 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.
California already has a plan to confront global warming. It’s the nation’s first economy-wide cap-and-trade system, which went into effect in January and sets an annual limit on total emissions that California’s largest polluters can release, helping the state reach emissions targets established by the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006.
Under the act, California must bring emissions down to 1990 levels by 2020, and down 80 percent by 2050.
Read more about California’s cap-and-trade program and how “per capita” and “business as usual” emission estimations hide real rise in total greenhouse gases in the summer print edition of the Public Press. Stories from the report will appear online over the next few weeks.