Jun 26th, 2013
We know you were waiting with bated breath to hear President Obama’s visionary climate plan, right? Well, wait no more. From Common Dreams:
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama announced his administration’s “Climate Action Plan” for cutting carbon pollution in his second term in the Oval Office at Georgetown University and unfortunately, it’s a full-throttle endorsement of every aspect of fracking and the global shale gas market. …
Obama’s plan also boasts about bringing the U.S. model for fracking abroad through the U.S. State Department’s Global Shale Gas Initiative, now called the Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program.
“We have launched the Unconventional Gas Technical Engagement Program to share best practices on issues such as water management, methane emissions, air quality, permitting, contracting, and pricing to help increase global gas supplies and facilitate development of the associated infrastructure that brings them to market,” the plan further explains.
Further locking in demand for fracking, the Obama climate plan also fully endorses T. Boone Pickens’ “Pickens Plan,” helping create a domestic market for natural gas vehicles, particularly for 18-wheelers. The plan also endorses shale gas exports.
The plan also endorses nuclear energy and so-called “clean coal” technology. Even the part of the plan meant to reduce coal emissions is crap:
The plan hinges on Obama’s claim that he plans to use his presidential powers to override a Congress under ‘partisan deadlock’ and order the Environmental Protection Agency to impose carbon emissions limits on current and new power plants.
Though many of the large green groups in the US praised the push for tighter regulation on coal plants by the EPA, critics say Obama’s plan is unclear about exactly how strict these regulations will be. As an example, the president’s plan says that the EPA must be “flexible” to states’ needs, a vague directive that critics charge provides rhetorical cover for further inaction.
Furthermore, critics charge that “new” power plant regulations are hardly groundbreaking or far-reaching enough to meet the demands of the crisis. The 2007 Clean Air Act already empowered the EPA to regulate emissions for new facilities, and yet this has done little to reign in power plant emissions, which account for approximately 40 percent of U.S. carbon emissions.
The president’s only new step on this front is to propose regulations for existing plants, but critics worry that an administration that has dragged its feet so far will not make the necessary headway. …
On the issue of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, Obama remained nearly silent. He declared that the Administration would only move forward if it determines the pipeline is ‘in our national interest’ but did not respond to widespread demands that the project immediately halt.
The president plans to vigorously pursue nuclear energy, he states in his official climate plan. …
President Obama declared that the United States must be a ‘global leader’ and work with the private industry to curb the carbon emissions of ‘developing’ nations. This is despite the fact that the Global North, with only 15 percent of the world’s population, accounts for 70 percent of greenhouse gases, and the U.S. is the second largest contributor to greenhouse gases in the world.
The president announced that he will stop providing federal dollars to build foreign coal-powered plants, unless they are ‘clean’ coal plants, or unless that country has no other viable energy option. Yet, critics charge that the concept of ‘clean’ coal is a myth.