President Barack Obama is planning a major push using executive powers to tackle the pollution blamed for global warming in an effort to make good on promises he made at the start of his second term. “We know we have to do more — and we will do more,” Obama said Wednesday in Berlin.
Obama’s senior energy and climate adviser, Heather Zichal, said the plan would boost energy efficiency of appliances and buildings, plus expand renewable energy. She also said the Environmental Protection Agency was preparing to use its authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate heat- trapping pollution from coal-fired power plants.
“The EPA has been working very hard on rules that focus specifically on greenhouse gases from the coal sector,” Zichal said.
Zichal, speaking at a forum hosted by The New Republic in Washington, said that none of the proposals would require new funding or action from Congress. It has shown no appetite for legislation that would put a price on carbon dioxide after a White House-backed bill to set up a market-based system died in Obama’s first term with Democrats in charge.
The plan, with details expected to be revealed in coming weeks, comes as Obama has been under pressure from environmental groups and lawmakers from states harmed by superstorm Sandy to cut pollution from existing power plants, the largest source of climate-altering gases.