By Andrew H. Perellis and Craig B. Simonsen

President Obama last week announced his “Plan to Cut Carbon Pollution and Address Climate Change,” which summarized the President’s Climate Action Plan.

The President’s case for action is that “while no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, we have a moral obligation to future generations to leave them a planet that is not polluted and damaged. Through steady, responsible action to cut carbon pollution, we can protect our children’s health and begin to slow the effects of climate change so that we leave behind a cleaner, more stable environment.”

Reviewing the substance of the Climate Action Plan, EPA Region 5 Administrator Susan Hedman, at the Annual Air and Waste Management Convention in Chicago, lauded the President’s action. Hedman said that the Plan doubles the goals set by Obama’s 2009 Executive Order to federal agencies, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance, Executive Order 13514, October 5, 2009.

An interesting EPA graphic provides a summary of the greenhouse gas pollutants and the major sources that it attributes to climate change:











 EPA Infographic.

In summary, the Plan calls for EPA to work closely with the states, industry, and other stakeholders to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants by 2016. It calls for new goals to increase investment by thirty percent in a range of clean energy technologies. It would double wind and solar energy by 2020. It would double energy production by 2030, relative to 2010 levels. It would develop and implement a comprehensive interagency methane strategy. It would more than double by requiring twenty percent of the federal government’s electricity to come from renewable sources by 2020.