President Barack Obama will unveil his climate change agenda during a speech around 2 p.m. Eastern this afternoon. The agenda is expected to combine both Executive Orders and a call to Congress to enact legislation.
The new climate initiative will impose deadlines for EPA to write rules throttling carbon dioxide emissions at U.S. power plants, part of a series of efforts that could hit the coal industry hard both at home and abroad – but also create jobs and spark the economy according to the administration. The plan features updated versions of the President’s first-term emphasis on tightening vehicle emissions standards, fostering the development of “clean coal” technology, and offering billions of dollars for green energy, as well as a renewed push to lead international climate talks. It will seek to push solar and wind energy on federal lands and subsidized housing, as well as encourage coal users to switch to natural gas. Again, it takes aim at the oil and gas industry tax breaks that Obama has unsuccessfully urged Congress to kill.
Last term, Congressional Republicans easily defeated the President’s proposal by arguing the proposed changes would increase taxes and costs on consumers.
The Office of Federal Relations is tracking this issue and will provide updates as available.