Obama’s Climate Plan Sets Power Plant Emissions Limits

President Obama

by | Jun 25, 2013

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President ObamaPresident Barack Obama’s climate plan will restrict carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants and boost investment in renewable energy, according to White House documents.

The climate plan, which Obama will announce this afternoon, doesn’t set a timeline for the power plant rules. Reuters reports the EPA will issue proposed carbon emissions limits for existing powers plants by June 2014 and finalize the regulations a year later.

The federal government will also make up to $8 million available in loan guarantees for energy-efficiency and clean-technology projects for fossil fuel plants.

In addition to limiting carbon emissions, the US will work to reduce other potent greenhouse gases, including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and methane, both domestically and internationally.

The plan calls for cleaner-burning fuels for transportation and says the Obama administration will work with the auto industry to develop post-2018 fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles. The federal government will work with the private and public sector to deploy biofuels, advanced batteries and fuel cell technologies for all modes of transportation, it says.

In an effort to reduce energy bills for businesses and homes, the White House will set efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings that will cut carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons by 2030 — equivalent to about half of the carbon pollution from the US energy sector for one year.

The plan also sets new renewable energy goals, including installing 100 MW of renewable capacity across federally subsidized housing by 2020 and building enough wind and solar projects on federal lands to power more than 6 million homes by the same date. The plan says the federal government will obtain 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. This new goal more than doubles the current target of 7.5 percent.

Additionally, the plan focuses on preparing for the impacts of climate change, including establishing a task force to advise on how the federal government can better support climate preparedness and taking measures to improve climate resilience in areas damaged by Hurricane Sandy. It says the White House will launch a “climate data initiative” and a “toolkit for climate resilience” that centralizes access to data-driven resilience tools, services and best practices.

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