Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Earth Democrats Government

Obama Reveals Climate Change Plan 577

Posted by Soulskill
from the it-ain't-easy-being-green dept.
Today President Obama gave a speech outlining the administration's plan to take on climate change. (Video of the speech available on YouTube, and the White House published an infographic as well.) Most significantly, Obama's plan would have the EPA set limits on carbon pollution from all U.S. power plants, a goal already meeting resistance from Republicans. The plan also sets the goal of funding enough solar- and wind-based energy projects on public lands to power over 6 million homes by 2020. By 2030, it aims to use efficiency standards to reduce carbon pollution by 3 billion metric tons. Obama called for new efforts to deal with extreme weather like Hurricane Sandy. He also pointed out the difficulty in getting emerging industrial economies to be environmentally conscious. To that end, the plan calls for the end of U.S. support for financing coal power plants in foreign countries, unless those plants use carbon capture and sequestration technologies. The speech addressed the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry up to 800,000 gallons of oil per day from Canada into the U.S. Obama indicated that approval for the pipeline would be tied to emissions goals.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Obama Reveals Climate Change Plan

Comments Filter:
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @03:54PM (#44104377)

    >> Obama called for new efforts to deal with extreme weather like Hurricane Sandy.

    Like move coastal populations so we aren't always on the hook for rebuilding people's beach houses?

    >> the plan calls for the end of U.S. support for financing coal power plants in foreign countries

    We're doing what? And they wonder why taxpayers hate the federal government...

    • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999&gmail,com> on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:04PM (#44104529)

      Consider where the money ends up. Those foreign power plants are frequently very lucrative for large corporations that buy senators. It's a handy way to milk money out of the government and add it to the coffers. Bonus: everyone blames it on the government!

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      So where should be put our harbors?

    • by interkin3tic (1469267) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:49PM (#44105109)

      Obama called for new efforts to deal with extreme weather like Hurricane Sandy.

      Like move coastal populations so we aren't always on the hook for rebuilding people's beach houses?

      Are you suggesting that only beach houses were damaged by Hurricane Sandy, or are you suggesting we move NEW YORK FUCKING CITY and every other city that happens to lie in the danger zone, rather than switch to cleaner energy?

      Because the first is not true. The second is either insane or ridiculously under-informed.

      The plan calls for the end of U.S. support for financing coal power plants in foreign countries

      We're doing what? And they wonder why taxpayers hate the federal government...

      Does "financing" mean "Here, Foreign version of Koch Brothers! FREE MONEY! Just promise to build a fossil fuel plant near Paris!" or does it mean "Here's a loan, underdeveloped country struggling to keep the lights on, to build a cheap power plant. We're going to expect you to play ball when it comes to fighting terrorists. And by that we mean you won't allow cheap versions of HIV drugs into your country."

      • by bondsbw (888959) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @09:23PM (#44108049)

        are you suggesting we move NEW YORK FUCKING CITY and every other city that happens to lie in the danger zone, rather than switch to cleaner energy?

        Are you suggesting that switching to cleaner energy would have prevented Hurricane Sandy?

  • by 47Ronin (39566) <(glenn) (at) (47ronin.com)> on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @03:54PM (#44104381) Homepage

    Friends of the Earth's climate and energy program director Damon Moglen said the President's climate plan is "not enough" and needs to be more ambitious.
    http://www.foe.org/news/archives/2013-06-statement-on-president-obamas-climate-plan [foe.org]

    Well isn't doing something like this, which causes so much angst from the energy sector and Republicans, at least a step in the right direction? Using a US football analogy, we can't always make a touchdown with every effort isn't a heroic 9-yard run a good start? Being any more ambitious with the President's plan would risk all-out resistance from every billion-dollar lobby and politician.

    • by tirerim (1108567) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:32PM (#44104901)
      There will be angst from the Republicans no matter what. Heck, if he proposed sticking to the status quo, they'd still angst that he wasn't doing enough to support business. But setting loftier goals might result in a better compromise when the Democrats inevitably cave to Republican demands.
    • What Obama propose, is like sending 5 soldiers to Omaha beach on D-Day. It just makes no sense at all.
    • by Xyrus (755017)

      It's a step in the right direction, but his assessment is correct. It doesn't do enough to measurably impact future climate to any appreciable degree.

      Or to use a football analogy, it's 3rd down and 20 and we're standing in your own end zone. We're losing 28 to nothing, and it's almost the 4th quarter. Had we applied a strategy at the beginning of the game, we would at least be tied. However, since we let our star players spend most of the game flirting with cheerleaders and had the coaches pounding shots of

  • by TimHunter (174406) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @03:57PM (#44104417)

    "We don't have time for a meeting of the flat-earth society."

    Not for nothing are the Republicans known as "the stupid party."

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @03:59PM (#44104435)

    Well, I didn't think it was possible for the U.S. to fuck over third world countries any harder. But then!

    To that end, the plan calls for the end of U.S. support for financing coal power plants in foreign countries ... And STAY down, Africa.

    • by Hentes (2461350)

      Africa has the most to lose with global warming.

      • Africa has the most to lose with global warming.

        And that would be... what? SInce we all know now that global climate change does not specifically mean warming all over.

        But if it did mean Africa getting generally warmer, remind me again what life saving air conditioning runs on?

        I mean, if you really thought Africa was getting warmer it seems like you would make some allowances to help them, not specifically to yank help away and let more people die than have to. That is, if you wanted to help people at all

    • by PPH (736903)
      Africa: There's a Chinese guy with a checkbook knocking at our door.
      • by mjwx (966435)

        Africa: There's a Chinese guy with a checkbook knocking at our door.

        He's wearing a respirator, you'll have to listen carefully to hear his offer over the coughing and spluttering.

        Chinese cities are beginning to suffer pollution problems hard as a direct result of no pollution controls. It's the same with the 2008 Chinese milk scandal where they were tainted with Melamine in order to fool tests. Inaction is just as bad.

  • It's clever, no? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:03PM (#44104505)

    Tying the Keystone XL to emissions is clever. Sure the tar sands are amongst the filthiest forms of oil , but if emissions are limited, it really doesn't matter since emissions is the point of the sword that kills and everything else is, in the final analysis irrelevant.

    If XL is not built, there is nothing stopping the oil from coming in on rail and it's not clear how punishing that would be to the industry.

    Emissions are the business end of all policy. Going after emissions is exactly the right thing to do. It creates the environment where innovative technologies that cut emissions are differentially rewarded by the marketplace. Nothing like enlisting greed in your cause.

    If big oil and coal want to develop a zero emission technology then they can light this shit on fire until there's none left and it wouldn't matter one bit.

    Another great thing about this policy is it will force the retirement of some of the dirtiest fucking coal plants around the country and stop the creation of new dirty ones since investors aren't going to invest in them if they're never going to see the light of day.

    This is exactly the right message to send. Make carbon emission expensive and prohibit the worst of it. Spend big on R and D.

    • by thule (9041) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:09PM (#44104597) Homepage
      Coal plants have already been shutting down due the fact that natural gas is cheaper. Since we've been building natural gas plants, our carbon emissions are down to 1990's levels. Funny thing, we didn't even sign Kyoto, yet we did better than most (all?) countries in reducing carbon.
    • by P-niiice (1703362)
      Yep. emissions are the problem - they should be a big part of the solution.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If the US doesn't want a pipeline that's fine, China has been stroking the Feds dicks up here in Canada for years.

      The environmental question is which superpower would make cleaner use of the fuel?

      Not to mention if disaster falls somewhere off the West coast as crude is shipped to China/Russia/etc what kind of impact is there going to be to the Pacific Northwest coastline vs a land-based pipeline breach?

      Either way, the Oil will flow

    • If XL is not built, there is nothing stopping the oil from coming in on rail and it's not clear how punishing that would be to the industry.

      Um, depends on the industry.

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-01-23/buffett-s-burlington-northern-among-winners-in-obama-rejection-of-pipeline.html [bloomberg.com]

      Buffett's made more money from his buddy turning down this pipeline than you'll make in several lifetimes.

    • by onyxruby (118189)

      Tying the keystone pipeline to emissions does nothing more than give the Canadian government an excuse to sell to China. Your entire comment is based on the flawed assumption that there are no other markets. A pipeline to the US would be far safer than rail or truck and the fuel here would be cleaned to a far higher standard than would ever be seen in China.

  • by clarkkent09 (1104833) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:07PM (#44104577)

    Having to pay much more for electricity will mean having less money left over for food, which means less obesity! Now we just need to increase gasoline taxes so they will get more exercise as well. On top of that, high energy consumers, such as, you know, factories, will have to cut down production, perhaps even close down completely, further reducing the pollution! There is just no end to the benefits from artificially inflating the cost of energy.

    • by iggymanz (596061)

      sad but in this country good food costs more than junk & processed garbage. high fuel costs just means poor people's lives become more miserable while they rest of us just have less free money for toys and entertainment and better gear. poor people have more children too.

    • by microbox (704317)

      Having to pay much more for electricity will mean having less money left over for food

      Except electricity prices will not go up if there are financial incentives to modernize houses. Works in the RIAA. (That's NE USA.) They have a carbon tax for 10 years now, and electricity prices are lower on average for everyone, from industry to consumer. And that part of the US economy has grown relative to the rest. Climate action really doesn't have to cost that much if anything in aggregate.

      Now, if food prices go up in the future because of major climate induced effects on agriculture, then you rea

  • by ilikenwf (1139495) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:08PM (#44104593)
    So, we're going to start trying to nix the primary way we generate electricity...and not go nuclear even though we can recycle buried waste into power...and instead we're going to cut down a bunch of trees on public land and toss up solar and wind farms? Yeah, that's logical.

    This is purely political and not about the environment or climate change. The climate changes naturally, and adapts to the creatures (us and everything else on earth) and their affects on it. If anything we should be burning less coal from switching to nuclear plants.

    I'll just leave this here. http://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Nuclear-Power/MIT-Develops-Meltdown-Proof-Nuclear-Waste-Eating-Reactor.html [oilprice.com]
    • saying pipeline can't be completed unless it cuts greenhouse emissions, Obama has shown himself to be a moron of the highest caliber.

      Energy use drives progress and has lengthened human life and quality of life. This fake "environmentalism" is just mask on religion of man-haters.

      Real environmentalism and the best thing for the human race is to go to clean and powerful energy sources that are superior to the polluting fossil fuels, such as advanced nuclear reactor designs that can't melt down and have no lo

  • Why cap emisions? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Intropy (2009018) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:11PM (#44104637)

    The hypothesis to base limiting carbon dioxide emissions on is that they cause damage to the commons.

    Fine, if that's so then limiting them is a bad solution. I understand that it may be worth it for the benefits of the activity. That's fine too. Why is any harm allowed free of cost? Publicly fund research to put a dollar figure on the current marginal damage done by carbon dioxide emissions as well as on the cost to cleanup. Take the minimum of those two values and just tax the emissions at that rate, plus maybe a small percentage markup, right from the start. That way costs are borne by the people causing the harm. They are incentivized to minimize harm even at rates under what would have been the cap. Market forces will determine whether it's worth it and by how much and what amount should be prevented versus cleaned.

    The two weaknesses here are monitoring, which is just as much a problem with capping, and determining the cost. The research wont come to a perfect solution, but we can improve it over time. It'll have to be reevaluated periodically anyway since the cost is probably non-linear. In any case I don't see how that's more questionable than coming up with the cap figure. Liberals should be happy with this solution since it more strictly limits than what we have today. Conservative should be happy because everyone pays his fair share and the market gets to work. In reality liberals would hate it because it murders the Earth, and conservatives would hate it because it murders jobs. Both hating it seems just as good as both loving it.

  • by AlleyTrotte (1842702) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:26PM (#44104827)
    Pie in the sky while American children in Appalachia go to bed hungry every night. Clean coal is as just possible as cost effective solar/wind and its made in America.
    • Pie in the sky while American children in Appalachia go to bed hungry every night. Clean coal is as just possible as cost effective solar/wind and its made in America.

      Perhaps, but clean coal doesn't pander to the special interests that paid for the current President's campaign and subsequent election.

    • by microbox (704317)
      Solar/wind is made in america.

      Wind is about price parity with dirty coal.

      Solar will probably be at price parity in less than 5 years.

      Dirty coal doesn't stand a chance based on price alone.

      Clean coal really doesn't exist. Pumping CO2 underground? Guarantee containment forever? This is just a corporate joke.
  • Seriously (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:29PM (#44104865)
    At $0.50-0.60 a watt for today's solar panels, we're almost at the point where people can power their own homes. Unless of course you live where it rains constantly, like the pacific NW, lol. Oh and cloudy days/night time? There are energy storage solutions available - flywheels for example.
    • by microbox (704317)

      There are energy storage solutions available - flywheels for example

      There is also the possibility of a more advanced grid that can shift power more easily where it needs to go. Furthermore, wide-spread adoption of electric cars would mean that every car can be a capacitor for the grid, giving a huge amount of robustness to local weather conditions even with a poorly connected grid.

  • by jensend (71114) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:30PM (#44104871)

    Rather than picking winners and losers and setting arbitrary limits they should be using carbon and fuel taxes.

    Under Obama's plan, operations that could pollute less will pollute exactly their limit, places where higher output and thus higher emissions would be actually more efficient in terms of greenhouse gases per MW will instead operate at lower efficiency, the government will spend billions of dollars subsidizing Solyndra wannabes, and actual gas use by consumers will change little no matter how they try to regulate the auto industry.

    With carbon and fuel taxes, consumers and corporations would all have better incentives to improve their emissions, the market would decide the best way to allocate resources, energy innovation would be encouraged, there would be tremendously less deadweight loss, and the government could either reduce other taxes or reduce its absurdly large deficits.

    People from all across the political spectrum who are informed and honest agree that this, not hard caps or cap-and-trade, is the way to go. But politicians like Obama would rather trash the nation's economy and not actually accomplish any climate progress than touch the third rail of fossil fuel taxes.

    In a "town hall" conversation where I brought this up with my Congresscritter- a Tea Party diehard who I'm frequently frustrated with- I was shocked to hear him admit that raising gas taxes and using the revenue to either reduce deficits or reduce taxes on productive behavior is a very good idea. But, he said, it'll never fly, so I'm not going to try to push it. If everybody who knew it's the right thing to do got behind it and tried to educate the populace rather than hiding behind a smokescreen, pretty soon the idea would fly, with bipartisan support.

    • by TubeSteak (669689) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:38PM (#44105793) Journal

      the government will spend billions of dollars subsidizing Solyndra wannabes,

      You realize that Solyndra turned into a four letter word because the USA was not subsidizing its solar industry as much as the Chinese were?

      Solyndra is not the example you want to use, unless your example is that trade wars suck for the people getting undercut.

  • by fastgriz (1052034) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @04:53PM (#44105169)
    This has nothing to do with saving the planet. It's a totally transparent (!) and cynical attempt to change the subject away from the web of scandals entangling Obama.
  • by Guspaz (556486) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:00PM (#44105283)

    How about banning the auto dealer laws that some states use to block competition, which are preventing electric car manufacturers like Tesla from becoming more popular?

    Moving to electric cars is not THE answer to climate change problems, but it's a part of it, and getting rid of such ridiculous restrictions is a pretty low-hanging-fruit thing to do.

  • by peter303 (12292) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:02PM (#44105299)
    Since peaking in 2005, US carbon emissions have dropped a gigaton [eia.gov] per year. This was mainly due to switching almost half of coal-powered to electricity to cheaper and cleaner natural gas. This is near the goal [unratified] Kyoto treaty of 5% below 1990 levels. Since this was acheived by market forces rather than government regulation, Obama and environmentalists almost completely ignore this achievement. Obamas new proposal will lower US CO2 output even more.
    • by TheSync (5291)

      Since peaking in 2005, US carbon emissions have dropped a gigaton [eia.gov] per year. This was mainly due to switching almost half of coal-powered to electricity to cheaper and cleaner natural gas.

      You are only counting CO2. We really don't know how much CH4 has been released due to natural gas drilling in the US. Moreover CH4 is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2. We have no effective CH4 release monitoring system.

      There has been a recent uptick [europa.eu] in global CH4 levels which is odd because levels had been

  • by WindBourne (631190) on Tuesday June 25, 2013 @05:35PM (#44105749) Journal
    This was an opportunity for O to really shine. He speaks of what he will stop, but does not speak of what will replace it. That is as stupid as 'drill, baby, drill' mantra chant of the neo-cons. I had hopes that he would have enough backbone to say that the US needs nukes and then push for thorium as well as IFR.

    And as to Keystone, by allowing it to go through, he helps to lower the price of oil which helps the global economy, which makes it possible to build A.E. cheaper.

    I think that he is allowing the neo-con's accusations to get to him.

This screen intentionally left blank.

Working...