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Obama unveils aggressive climate action plan, rallies behind clean technology

President Obama unveiled an aggressive laundry list of actions in a speech on Tuesday that will help to reduce U.S. carbon emissions, boost domestic clean power generation and increase spending on clean energy projects and clean tech innovation. The moves fell short of proposing new laws that would need to get support from Congress, which would have proven extremely difficult, but represented the President’s strongest move to fight climate change to date.

As expected, Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency to complete carbon emissions regulation for new and existing power plants. That means that when the EPA finalizes its policies, it could lead to the closure and restriction of older coal plants. Obama also called for another doubling of clean power from electricity (they already doubled it once), a fiscal year 2014 budget with $7.9 billion for clean energy technology across agencies, new efficiency standards for appliances, and a variety of other proposals (see the embed of the proposal below).

windturbineBeyond the details of Obama’s climate action plan, the words he used in his speech were strong, demanding America’s action on fighting climate change, and pushing back on anyone that didn’t believe in the science behind climate change. “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society,” he said. He started his speech by stating simply, “We need to act.”

Obama’s words will no doubt embolden the cleantech entrepreneurs, investors and innovators building the next generation of clean power technologies. It’s no secret that the last couple of years have been very difficult for cleantech startups. “We can use new technology,” science and research “to write new rules,” said Obama, explaining that its not “either, or,”¬†when it comes to the economy and fighting climate change, it’s “both, and.” Obama gave a shout out to the scientists that would design new fuels, farmers that would grow new fuels, and workers that would operate assembly lines with high tech components for carbon emissions free technologies.

More surprising, Obama hinted at a few even more aggressive stances on the fossil fuel industry. He mentioned the Keystone pipeline and said it would be in the nation’s interest only “if it does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution.”

[slideshare id=23476452&doc=149862900-obama-climate-action-plan-in-full-130625142615-phpapp01&type=d]

9 Responses to “Obama unveils aggressive climate action plan, rallies behind clean technology”

  1. Why is it that every time that i’m reading something about positiv movements in US, I have to read all these polemic comments full of hatred? The cost of inaction are getting higher and higher, and you still do argue just with jobloss now? What is with life loss tomorrow? It is all about risks. If you have 1% risk that you get into a car crash: Would you belt your child or not? Science is telling us, that we are far over 50% risk, that man made climate change is true. Do you act now for your child and your grandson? Or do you just put yourself first? Please start thinking and watch less propaganda channels.
    From a european.

  2. So magnanimous of Mr. Obama to think he is helping the climate, when in fact he is making it worse.

    Let’s examine the details:

    – Middle East Oil is more expensive than if he were to use his own, or Canada’s resources.
    – Middle East Oil is UNREGUALTED in terms of carbon emissions, spills, etc..
    – US/Canadian Oil is not only regulated in terms of emissions, but also amazingly cheaper.
    – US/Canadian Oil also creates jobs within the US and Canada and not in the Middle East.

    So not only is Obama perpetuating the problem of climate change, but he is doing it while at the expense of his own country’s economy as well as that of its direct trading partners.

    I always find it incredible that the US can actually cut down on emissions if they actually just regulated and double-burned its own oil, all the while using the funds its regulation to fund clean-energy prospects, while never using a single dime of taxpayer funding, and at the same time create 1000’s of jobs and increase revenue into the government coffers.

    So, let’s examine why Obama ISN’T in favor of the Keystone pipeline, when everything about it is good?

  3. Harold

    Merle says it best…

    There’s a big, brown cloud in the city,
    And the countryside’s a sin.
    An’ the price of life is too high to give up,
    Gotta come down again.
    When the world wide war is over and done,
    And the dream of peace comes true.
    We’ll all be drinkin’ free bubble-up,
    Eatin’ that rainbow stew.
    When they find out how to burn water,
    And the gasoline car is gone.
    When an airplane flies without any fuel,
    And the sunlight heats our home.
    One of these days when the air clears up,
    And the sun comes shinin’ through.
    We’ll all be drinkin’ free bubble-up,
    An’ eatin’ that rainbow stew.

    Eatin’ rainbow stew in a silver spoon,
    Underneath that sky of blue.
    All be drinkin’ free bubble-up,
    An’ eatin’ that rainbow stew.

    Instrumental break.

    You don’t have to get high to get happy,
    Just think about what’s in store.
    When people start doin’ what they oughta be doin’,
    Then they won’t be booin’ no more.
    When a President goes through the White House door,
    An’ does what he says he’ll do.
    We’ll all be drinkin’ free bubble-up,
    Eatin’ that rainbow stew.

    Eatin’ rainbow stew in a silver spoon,
    Underneath that sky of blue.
    We’ll all be drinkin’ that free bubble-up,
    Eatin’ some rainbow stew.

    Eatin’ rainbow stew in a silver spoon,
    Underneath that sky of blue.
    All be drinkin’ that free bubble-up,
    Eatin’ rainbow stew.

  4. Carbon Dioxide is not “pollution”. On top of that, only %0.01 of voters in a national Gallup poll during the last election listed “global warming” as a major voting issue.

    The “climate agenda” (globalwarmingism) is a tragic DISTRACTION from the real issues impacting the environment worldwide:

    1) Habitat Destruction
    2) Poaching
    3) Pollution

    Shame on Obama and shame on all the PHONY, self-proclaimed “environmentalists” who have hijacked the global wildlife conservation and environmental movement for themselves, to promote their unpopular anti-carbon agenda.

    Do these people know or care how many species VANISH every minute, as they WASTE our time ranting about climate, as rain forests continue to be eradicated, lands continue to be bulldozed, and roads continue to be cut into the heart of Wilderness?

    No. And meanwhile, global temperatures have not risen in 20 years.

    Wake up, people:

    1) Habitat Destruction
    2) Poaching
    3) Pollution

    Nothing. Else. Matters.

  5. Bless Obama’s heart for taking a leadership stand here in the face of virulent hatred from Republicans in Congress. I noted that KPCB venture capitalist John Doerr was avidly tweeting in advance of Obama’s address, so cleantech entrepreneurs may take heart.

    Canadian PM Steven Harper, Environment Minister Joe Oliver, and Alberta Premier Alison may note that Obama referred to the Alberta bitumen deposits as “tar sands,” perhaps foreshadowing his pending decision on the Keystone XL pipeline.