WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is running out of time to make good on his lofty vow to confront climate change head-on, and Congress is in no mood to help.

Moving ahead on his own, Obama will announce a set of actions Tuesday that will take years to implement.

The centerpiece of the plan is a push to issue new regulations that would curb greenhouse-gas emissions from new and existing power plants, according to people briefed on the plan by the administration.

Other components will include energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and help for communities preparing for the effects of climate change.

“This is a serious challenge, but it’s one uniquely suited to America’s strengths,” Obama said Saturday in a White House video announcing the speech at Georgetown University.

Yet environmental activists are frustrated that Obama, despite deeming climate change a priority as far back as his first presidential campaign, waited until his fifth year in office to issue a detailed plan. In his State of the Union address in February, Obama gave lawmakers an ultimatum that if Congress wouldn’t pass climate legislation, he’d take action himself. Four months later, Obama appears to be done waiting.

“His view reflects reality,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday. “We’ve seen Congress attempt to deal with this issue, and fail to.”

In going it alone, Obama’s options are somewhat limited. But environmental activists say taking action to reduce the heat-trapping gases that coal-fired power plants emit would have the most impact. Forty percent of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions, and one-third of greenhouse gases overall, come from electric power plants, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Energy Department’s statistical agency.

The Environmental Protection Agency, using its authority under the Clean Air Act, has already proposed rules for new power plants, but those rules have been delayed. Although finalizing the rules for new plants would likely compel the government to eventually take similar action on existing plants, the Obama administration has until now insisted it’s focused on new plants.

(9) comments

Crustybachelor

Interesting that the only way to assure that Americans have clean air to breath and clean water to drink is to go around senate Republicans. It'll take alot of money out of their pockets if the businesses that find it cheaper to continue to polute have that taken away from them, and are forced to behave responsibly.

president8444

Many promises to get elected by Obama, yes promises only, elect me.[beam]

president8444

We , the USA loves the dirty money from China. We canot change nature.Warming since he ice age and we cannot stop it ,oh we can't control volcanos either.Are we dumb with climate control. YES[wink]

watson4sherlock

No reason to worry about air pollution. We can just build huge air-filtered domes like they've done in China. That will be much cheaper in the long run.

wmpratt2010

Bad decision for bad regulations in a bad economy based on bad science.

If you want to make the economy worse this is certainly something I would do.

usgov

Global warming is similar to our deficit funded government the real impact won't be felt until the architects are deceased.

C8H10N4O2

The climate changers are the epitome of a fool. The USA consumes about a million tons of coal per year, India about 3/4 that, China about 4 million. American coal-burning power plants have every pollution control known to man; Indian and Chinese plants have none. Indian and Chinese coal consumption is rising, that of the USA falling. It makes no sense at all for Americans to impose these costs on themselves. It's like cleaning up the ocean by telling 1/4 of the world's whales to stop peeing in it. I hope Congress overrides any stupid decisions the EPA makes in this regard, but Congress doesn't seem to pass much of anything these days.

watson4sherlock


As Beijing air pollution worsens, some American expats clear out
Business opportunities abound in China, but some U.S. executives working in the capital say the health of their families is more important.
June 20, 2013 | By Don Lee, Los Angeles Times

BEIJING — After nearly two decades in Beijing, David Wolf knew it was time for a change when his 11-year-old son, Aaron, somberly asked him, "Dad, when you were growing up, did you ever have PE outdoors?"

Wolf had grown up in smog-choked Los Angeles in the 1970s, but even that wasn't nearly as bad as Beijing today. His son, like many young students in the city, has been kept inside for months, with the luckier children getting the chance to exercise under huge air-filtered domes that their international schools have built.

See http://articles.latimes.com/2013/jun/20/world/la-fg-china-escape-20130620

watson4sherlock


India's Air Pollution Woes
Submitted by Muthukumara Mani On Mon, 03/25/2013 - 16:14

The World Health Organization’s recent Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Assessment estimates that outdoor air pollution causes 620,000 premature deaths per year in India, a six fold increase since 2000. The main causes are growing emissions of particulate emissions (PM10) from transport and power plants. GBD in this analysis has ranked air pollution as the sixth most dangerous killer in South Asia and fifth leading cause of deaths in India.

See http://blogs.worldbank.org/endpovertyinsouthasia/indias-air-pollution-woes

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