It's looking increasingly as though President Obama wants to end the reign of coal which has been used as a heat source since prehistoric days. The Wall Street Journal reports that President Obama is likely to push curbs on Carbon Pollution from existing power plants in his State of the Union Address on February 12.
The Environmental Protection Agency has already proposed rules (pdf), set to be finalized this spring, to limit carbon pollution emitted from new power plants to 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour of electricity. This would make the construction of new coal-fired power plants effectively impossible.
Mr. Obama is likely to signal he wants to move beyond proposed Environmental Protection Agency rules on emissions from new power plants and tackle existing coal-fired plants, people familiar with the administration's plans said.Republicans are already lining up to give objections to any regulation of existing coal-fired plants. But of course, the beauty of this action is that it does not depend on any authorization from congress.
The EPA has prepared rules for existing plants to minimize pollution from particulate matter, mercury and other toxins. But this would be the first time the agency regulates existing plants to curb emissions of the greenhouse gases scientists believe contribute to global warming.
"Power plants are our largest source of carbon pollution and you have the authority and responsibility to clean them up under the Clean Air Act," environmental groups said in a Jan. 7 letter to the president. The letter also told the president he could "set standards that cut carbon pollution from America's aging power plant fleet at least 25% by 2020 while boosting energy efficiency and shifting to clean energy sources."Starting with President Obama's unexpected strong advocacy for climate change action in his Second Inaugural Address and continuing with the selection of Climate Hawk John Kerry as Secretary of State and the nomination of environmentalist Sally Jewell as Secretary of Interior Obama's second term is shaping up to be a legacy maker on the issue of climate change and energy.
Rejection of the Keystone XL Pipeline would make it a slam dunk.
Let's help make that happen. Join the #ForwardOnClimate Rally on 2/17 in Washington DC in front of the Whitehouse!