Update, 6:58 am: Vox received two documents via email from the White House Office of the Press Secretary. One is a fact sheet—a rundown of the essential points of the President’s plan to tackle climate change, and the other is a fully detailed outline of the plan. Both are available below.
Original Post: This afternoon, President Barack Obama will speak at Old North about how he wants to undo the damage that America has done to the environment in those last two hundred years.
Senior Administration officials spoke yesterday afternoon on a press call about how President Obama would present “his vision for an all of the above approach to develop homegrown energy and study responsible steps to cut carbon pollution so we protect the health of our children, move our economy toward American made, clean energy sources that will create good jobs and lower home energy bills and to slow the effects of climate change.”
The American public can expect Obama (pictured at left, speaking at Georgetown in March 2011) to not only highlight his success in reducing last year’s U.S. carbon pollution from the energy sector to the “lowest level in nearly two decades”, but also to promote new policies that the Administration expects will promote job growth and reduce carbon emissions, according to the press call. The Administration officials also noted that Obama will express a particular sense of urgency for the problem of climate change. They said, “Last year was the warmest year ever in the contiguous United States and about one-third of all Americans experienced ten days of more than 100 degree heat. The 12 hottest years on record have all come in the last 15 years.”
Obama will likely attempt to convince Americans across the country to support his plan to address climate change , addressing not only the threat of rapidly rising temperature but also the health problems pollution is causing for the children of America. “Asthma rates have doubled in the last 30 years and our kids will suffer more asthma attacks as air pollution gets worse,” the Administration officials said.
This new energy policy will augment American foreign policy, with an emphasis on working with developed countries as well as developing countries to reduce carbon emissions. According to the press call, “[Obama] will call for an end to U.S. government support for the public financing of new coal plants overseas, except for facilities that deploy carbon capture and sequestration technologies and for the world’s poorest countries in cases where no other economically feasible alternative exists, we will support the most efficient coal technology available.”
Market-based solutions will also be a part of Obama’s plan to reduce emissions worldwide. “The President will call for the United States to launch negotiations for free trade in environmental goods and services working with our global trading partners to lower tariffs and other market barriers to this trade.” the Administration officials said.
On the domestic front, Obama will outline a plan that will direct the Environmental Protection Agency to work with states and industry to establish new standards for power plants. He will sign a Presidential Memorandum that creates a timeline for the EPA to establish these standards and sets parameters on EPA efforts. The plan will also direct the EPA and Department of Transportation to work on new fuel emissions standards for post-2018 heavy duty vehicles. Obama, however, will not be providing specifics on what rates the EPA will set. The EPA will have to submit a report, outlining the recommended rates for power plants, by September 20, 2013.
The public can expect to still feel the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Obama’s speech, as he will outline new policies for disaster readiness and safety. The President will particularly emphasize creating a new task force that will assist in cooperating with “state, local, and tribal leaders” during natural disasters.
The President will also not reveal his decision on the Keystone pipeline because the State Department is still conducting a review on the controversial oil pipeline. For this new climate control policy, improving on what he has already done seems to be the path Obama is going to take.
Be sure to check in later for Vox’s recap of the event.
Photo: Georgetown Voice