What to Watch for in Today's Climate Speech
Obama to set out landmark regulations, but rocky road ahead
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Jun 25, 2013 7:31 AM CDT
Updated Jun 25, 2013 7:52 AM CDT
In this June 19, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama gestures during a news conference at the German Chancellery in Berlin.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – Today, President Obama will unveil his plans to fight climate change—"the global threat of our time," he said last week—in a speech at Georgetown University. He's taking on the threat without help from Congress, though lawmakers could potentially seize on a law that lets them overturn executive rules, the New York Times notes. Here's what to watch for:

  • For the first time, existing power plants could face carbon-emissions limits, aides say. New plants will see EPA fossil-fuel regulations finished by September under Obama's plan. Mother Jones sees what's likely to be "the end of conventional coal-fired power in the United States." Meanwhile, federally-owned lands will see an increase in efforts to harness renewable energy.

  • The White House will work with state and local officials to brace the country for climate change's effects—including, for instance, future roads that are better-prepared for flooding, CBS News reports.
  • Buildings, appliances, and heavy-duty trucks can expect new fuel efficiency requirements. The goal: to reduce carbon emissions by 3 billion metric tons by 2030.
  • Some $7 billion will be pledged to help the international community grapple with the effects of climate change, and another $8 billion will go to loan guarantees for green projects.
  • The administration will put a wealth of climate information online for the public's benefit.
  • Environmentalists applaud the step forward, but fear it may not be enough—particularly with potential political opposition, Politico notes. "It’s unreasonable. What they’re doing has never been done," says Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin. Also at Politico, however, Darren Goode writes that the president might have "just enough time to carry out the biggest environmental effort of his presidency—if he starts now."

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Jul 3, 2013 12:05 AM CDT
Does Barack care about the environment and nature? "I direct the Secretaries of State and Commerce to continue to keep the situation under review and to continue to urge Iceland to cease its commercial whaling activities. It is my expectation that departments and agencies make substantive progress towards their implementation. To this end, within 6 months upon the resumption of fin whaling by Iceland. These actions hold the most promise of effecting a reduction in Iceland's whaling activities and support our conservation efforts." - BARACK OBAMA "On June 2, 2011, The Obama Administration took another important step to implement the Nation's first comprehensive ocean policy by launching a series of events aimed at gathering public input from the communities and economies that depend on and care for our ocean, coasts, and Great Lakes. See here to learn more and to get involved in the National Ocean Month public events": www.whitehouse.gov/oceans THEN NOTHING WAS DONE. "The US announced trade and diplomatic sanctions against Iceland for ramping up its whale hunts despite a moratorium on commercial whaling. Obama cites Iceland under a law that allows him to act against countries who flout international animal conservation. Sometimes, the threat alone is enough to make countries change practices. Iceland, Norway, and Japan continue to hunt whales despite a 1986 moratorium on whaling. The US is particularly concerned about Iceland's escalated hunt for fin whales" http://www.newser.com/story/123895/us-threatens-iceland-with-sanctions-over-whaling.html THEN NOTHING WAS DONE. Several environmental groups have run ads in major newspapers highlighting Obama's campaign promise in 2008 to "strengthen the moratorium on commercial whaling," adding that "allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable." The ad reads: "We ask you to honor your promise, stop the sellout, and save the Whales." THEN NOTHING WAS DONE.
Jul 2, 2013 6:28 AM CDT
All you greennicks ever wonder where all that electricity comes from when you plug in your little electric kiddie cars? How many pounds of coal or gas is burned to get that silly car to go 50 miles before the next charge is needed?
Jul 2, 2013 6:18 AM CDT
Gotta get rid of all that steam none-too-bright people see coming from coal fired generating plants and think is smoke. They'll be seeing smoke when they get their future electric bills.