Obama announces climate actions


President Barack Obama just wrapped up a speech at Georgetown University where he announced federal actions aimed at cutting the country's carbon emissions. The White House issued a fact sheet and report on the president's agenda, which is available here.


Some of the measures, all of which are executive actions not requiring the approval of Congress, are significant. Obama's directing the Environmental Protection Agency to complete new carbon limits for existing power plants, but the utilities industry and Republican lawmakers will likely push back on those efforts. Obama also said he's directing federal agencies to develop new efficiency standards for vehicles and household appliances.

Obama also called for more federal investment in renewable energy and said that the government will get 20 percent of its power from renewables within seven years. And he called for the federal government to put more emphasis on climate change adaptation, including providing local governments with help to "harden" their infrastructure against things like storms and flooding.

The president also, once again, called for a transition away from coal to natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable energy. As for the Keystone XL pipeline, he said he wouldn't approve it if it adds to US carbon emissions.