As he unveils his new climate change policies, President Obama declared that, in a matter of national interest, carbon emissions must be cut; a move that will affect almost every sector in the economy.
During his speech at Georgetown University, he stated, “I don’t have much patience for anyone that denies that this challenge is real. Sticking your head in the sand might make you feel safer but it’s not going to protect you from the coming storm.”
He briefly mentioned the Keystone XL debate, and hinted that it would only be approved if it did not add to the overall carbon emissions for the nation.
“Our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effect of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward.”
Related article: Nuclear Energy Innovation is Vital for Slowing Climate Change
This is fairly neutral statement on the surface, but when digging deeper it could possibly be considered as leaning towards a decision of approval. Obama has basically admitted that approval is very likely to be given if the pipeline project has no negative impact on climate change. Yet a report released at the beginning of March has already confirmed that the pipeline will have no impact because the oil sands are going to be mined regardless.
The central aspect of the climate change plans are the limits that he is set to place on carbon emissions from power plants. Power plant emissions account for 40% of all US carbon dioxide emissions, and a third of total greenhouse gas emissions, according to the EIA.
Kevin Kennedy, director of the climate initiative at the World Resources Institute, said that “there really is a need to be able to move ahead with a regime of solutions throughout the economy. But starting now with power plants is going to be a big first step.”
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com