Summary of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan

June 27, 2013

President Obama released the Administration’s Climate Action Plan on June 25, 2013 at a press conference held at George Washington University.  The plan focuses on 3 major areas designed to continue the path of meeting a national reduction goal of 17% from 2005 levels by 2020:  (1) reducing CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) including methane and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); (2) preparing the U.S. for the impacts of climate change; and (3) leading international efforts to address climate change.  Elements of the plan of particular relevance include:

  • Committing EPA to expeditiously complete a rule setting CO2 standards for new power plants and to undertake a rulemaking for existing power plants.
  • Sets a goal to double renewable electricity generation (an additional 10 GW) by 2020 by accelerating “clean energy permitting” and by expanding and modernizing the electric grid.  The plan references a Presidential Memorandum (signed earlier this month) directing federal agencies to streamline the siting, permitting and review process for transmission projects across federal, state and tribal governments.  The plan includes a new goal for the federal government to consume 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
  • Commits to increased funding for long-term investments in clean energy innovation, including a soon-to-be-released solicitation by the Department of Energy that would make up to $8 billion in loan guarantee authority available for “a wide array” of advanced fossil energy projects.
  • Commits to continued efforts to reduce methane emissions across all sectors of the economy including the oil and gas sector by working collaboratively with state governments and the private sector through the formation of an Interagency Methane Strategy Group.

For additional information, please visit the White House site at and the Edison Electric Institute site at

Linda Haskins

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