President Obama said Saturday that he would make a major speech on Tuesday to unveil his second-term plan to curb the causes and effects of climate change, a plan expected to include limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.
“This Tuesday, I’ll lay out my vision for where I believe we need to go – a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it,” Mr. Obama said in a video released by the White House. “This is a serious challenge – but it’s one uniquely suited to America’s strengths.”
Mr. Obama’s decision to use his executive authority to regulate utilities reflects a determination that he has no prospect of passing such sweeping policies through Congress. But while the Supreme Court validated the power of the executive to regulate carbon emissions without further legislation, the president’s move may draw lawsuits and other challenges from industry and Republicans citing the economic costs.
The administration has already moved to curb emissions of new power plants, but expanding regulation to existing utilities would be among the most consequential decisions the president could make. More than a third of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States are produced by electric power facilities.
Mr. Obama did not say in his video what would be included in his Tuesday speech, but administration officials have previously said it would include proposed power plant rules. Because of the complicated regulatory process, it could take until the end of his second term to put them in place.
“There’s no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change,” Mr. Obama said in the video. “But when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can.”