What Will Obama Do About Climate Change?
Posted at 12:45 p.m. on Nov. 7, 2012
Commentators and environmental groups were surprised to hear President Obama reference climate change in his victory speech last night after a campaign that largely failed to discuss the issue. Brad Plumer looks at what energy and climate policies the president may pursue or continue in his second term.
“His administration has already set new rules requiring new passenger vehicles sold in the United States to average 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025, up from 29 miles per gallon today. The fact that these rules won’t be repealed is itself significant… In Obama’s first term, the EPA set strict limits on mercury pollution from coal-fired plants and put an upper limit on the amount of carbon dioxide that could be emitted from any new power plant built in the United States.”
“The EPA could also set new rules on polluters. There are plenty of unfinished EPA rules on the horizon, all technically mandated by the Clean Air Act… Natural gas drilling could face tighter regulation… Obama has signaled at many points that he would be open to more sweeping action to tackle global warming. He has proposeda clean energy standard that would require utilities to get a greater portion of their electricity from renewables.”