First we heard it from unnamed sources. Then we heard it from White House climate advisor Heather Zichal. And now we’ve heard it from Obama himself: The president is gearing up for a big speech in which he’ll unveil his long-awaited second-term climate plan.
Obama announced the news in his weekly video address on Saturday. “This Tuesday at Georgetown University, 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,” he said in the video, which was set to overwrought music and peppered with gauzy scenes of American landscapes. (Watch for yourself below.)
Obama urged people to “share this message with your friends,” and WhiteHouse.gov even provided a handy sample tweet: “Climate change is one of the most serious challenges we face—and it’s time to act. RT this video from the President: http://wh.gov” (What, no hashtag?)
1) Crack down on carbon emissions from power plants. Regulations on new plants are already in the works. The next step is regs on existing power plants, which would gradually force coal-fired plants to start shutting down. Considering that electric power plants produce about a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, this is a big deal.
2) Boost renewable energy development on federal land.
3) Increase the energy efficiency of appliances, industrial equipment, and public and private buildings.
4) Prepare for the climate impacts we’re already seeing.
That’s all stuff Obama can do without approval from Congress, though congressional Republicans will certainly try to throw up roadblocks.
And what won’t be in the plan? Anything about the Keystone XL pipeline. Obama seems intent on kicking that can further down the road.
Obama’s speech is scheduled for 1:35 p.m. ET on Tuesday.
Here’s the video from Saturday, with a transcript below.
In my inaugural address, I pledged that America would respond to the growing threat of climate change for the sake of our children and future generations.
This Tuesday at Georgetown University, 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.
This is a serious challenge, but it’s one uniquely suited to America’s strengths. We’ll need scientists to design new fuels, farmers to grow them. We’ll need engineers to devise new sources of energy, and business to make and sell them. We’ll need workers to build the foundation for a clean energy economy. And we’ll need all of our citizens to do our part to preserve God’s creation for future generations — our forests and waterways, our croplands and snowcapped peaks.
There is no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change. But when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can.
So I hope you’ll share this message with your friends — because this is a challenge that affects everyone, and we all have a stake in solving it together.
I hope to see you Tuesday. Thanks.