Obama in Berlin: Climate change is the “global threat of our time”
posted at 2:01 pm on June 19, 2013 by Erika Johnsen
Germany might be looking to scale way back on their own overly optimistic long-term and government subsidized renewable-energy plans as electricity prices are skyrocketing around the country, but that didn’t stop President Obama from advocating more of the same during his speech in Berlin today, accompanied by all of the usual grandiose platitudes. Via The Hill:
“Peace with justice means refusing to condemn our children to a harsher, less hospitable planet,” he said in a speech at Berlin’s Brandenberg Gate. “The effort to slow climate change requires bold action.”
Obama touted his first-term work on green energy and boosting auto efficiency rules, but added: “We know we have to do more – and we will do more.” …
“With a global middle class consuming more energy every day, this must now be an effort of all nations, not just some. For the grim alternative affects all nations – more severe storms, more famine and floods, new waves of refugees, coastlines that vanish, oceans that rise. This is the future we must avert,” Obama said.
“This is the global threat of our time. 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,” he said, according to a White House transcript.
And the White House is planning to do more, especially via executive and regulatory fiat. I mentioned last week that the Obama administration has been hinting to ardent climate-change activists and Democratic base supporters that they have big plans they’re going to reveal next month, and a White House spokesperson gave a few more not-unexpected indications about the type of rules and regs they have in the pipeline, reports National Journal:
“If there’s one thing I learned in the four and a half years in the White House, it’s not to get in front of the big guy, but it is worth mentioning the Clean Air Act,” Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change, said at a forum hosted by The New Republic. “This is a tool whether it’s the car rule or the mercury rule, we know that we can implement it with success.”
This is the first time a White House official has said on the record that Obama’s forthcoming strategy, first reported by Bloomberg last week, will include some component of the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse-gas rules. Exactly what that means is still unclear. Zichal declined to offer details, including whether the July package would contain a proposal for existing power plants that account for 40 percent of the greenhouse-gas emissions in the country. EPA last year issued a draft rule for new power plants, whose impact on reducing greenhouse-gas emissions is significantly limited compared with the rules for existing plants. …
The other two components of the strategy are tightening energy-efficiency standards of appliances and speeding up development of renewable energy on public lands. “None of them require new legislation and none of them require new funding,” she said of the three-part plan.