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In a speech at Georgetown University on June 25, President Barack Obama revealed his administration's plan to crack down on the nation's carbon pollution. Front and center of the Climate Action Plan are stronger regulations on power plants and a call for more renewable energy development.

In concert with his speech, Obama issued a presidential memorandum directing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to "expeditiously" propose and issue carbon pollution standards for new and existing power plants.

“Today, about 40 percent of America’s carbon pollution comes from our power plants,” the president said during his speech. “But here’s the thing: Right now, there are no federal limits to the amount of carbon pollution that those plants can pump into our air. None. Zero.

“We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury and sulfur and arsenic in our air or our water, but power plants can still dump unlimited amounts of carbon pollution into the air for free,” he continued. “That’s not right, that’s not safe, and it needs to stop.”

The full memorandum is available here.

Under the Climate Action Plan, the Obama administration also aims to build on past successes with renewable energy development. Since the president’s first term, the U.S. has more than doubled renewable energy generation from wind and solar, and the plan sets a new goal to again double renewable energy generation by 2020.

To help accomplish this, the new plan orders the U.S. Department of Interior to permit enough clean energy projects on public lands by 2020 “to power more than 6 million homes.” Also by 2020, the administration has set a goal of installing 100 MW of renewable energy on federally assisted housing. In addition, the plan says the fiscal year 2014 budget aims to boost funding for cleantech across all agencies to about $7.9 billion, a 30% increase.

The entire Climate Action Plan is available here.









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