Speculation that Obama was preparing to announce a second-term climate strategy was confirmed by his coordinator for energy and climate change, Heather Zichal, at a Washington DC forum hosted by The New Republic where it said the president would announce a policy within the “coming weeks”
Zichal said none of the initiatives being considered by the administration required legislative action or new financing from Congress, according to the New York Times.
The key energy advisor said that a central part of the administration’s approach to dealing with climate change would be to utilize the authority given to the Environmental Protection Agency to address pollutants from power plants.
The EPA is working to finish carbon emissions standards for new power plants and is then expected to tackle regulations on existing power plants, but Zichal did not comment on this, saying that she did not want to preempt what the EPA was going to do.
“Obviously the EPA is going to be working very hard on rules that focus specifically on greenhouse gas emissions from the coal sector.
“They’re doing a lot of important work in that space,” she said.
Meanwhile in Berlin, Obama acknowledged that America needed to “do more” to address climate change.
“The effort to slow climate change requires bold action,” Obama said in an address that echoed his State of the Union speech earlier this year.
“In the United States, we have recently doubled our renewable energy from clean sources like wind and solar power. We’re doubling fuel efficiency on our cars. Our dangerous carbon emissions have come down.
“But we know we have to do more -- and we will do more,” Obama pledged.
“With a global middle-class consuming more energy every day, this must now be an effort of all nations, not just some.
“And for the sake of future generations, our generation must move toward a global compact to confront a changing climate before it is too late. That is our job. That is our task. We have to get to work.”
How quickly the president gets to work and exactly how this work will impact the coal industry remains to be seen.
Keep an eye on ILN for updates on this story.