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June 27, 2013
President Obama Outlines Plan On Climate Change

On Tuesday, June 25, 2013, President Obama announced his new 21-page climate action plan in a speech he gave at Georgetown University. The plan is available online. Under the plan, the President will use his Executive authority under the Clean Air Act to curb harmful greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, he will issue a directive to EPA requiring the Agency to issue a proposed rule by next June (to be finalized a year later) that will limit greenhouse gas emissions at coal-fired power plants throughout the country. Other parts of the plan would help further the biofuels and renewable chemicals industry and include provisions:


  • Directing EPA to use its authority "through the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program to encourage private sector investment in low-emissions technology by identifying and approving climate-friendly chemicals while prohibiting certain uses of the most harmful chemical alternatives. In addition, the President has directed his Administration to purchase cleaner alternatives to HFCs whenever feasible and transition over time to equipment that uses safer and more sustainable alternatives"; and


  • Reiterating support for the RFS and helping to commercialize the next generation of alternative fuels.

The plan is controversial and will likely face legal and regulatory challenges, especially because it will largely bypass Congress. Congress has been unable to pass sweeping climate change legislation to date.

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