President Obama announced on his climate action plan at the end of June, which includes significant goals related to renewable energy and energy efficiency. The plan directs the U.S. Department of the Interior to issue permits by 2020 for enough renewable energy projects on public lands to power 6 million homes, while also designating the first-ever hydropower project for priority permitting, setting a new goal to install 100 megawatts of renewable energy on federally assisted housing by 2020, and maintaining the existing commitment to deploy renewable energy projects on military installations.
The plan also expands the president’s Better Buildings Challenge to help a wide range of buildings become at least 20% more energy efficient by 2020; sets a goal to reduce carbon emissions by at least 3 billion metric tons by 2030 through efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings; and commits to partnering with industry and stakeholders to develop fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles.
“A low-carbon, clean energy economy can be an engine of growth for decades to come,” said President Obama. “And I want America to build that engine.”
The president’s climate action plan also directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants, while making up to $8 billion in loan guarantees available for advanced fossil energy projects. It also leverages new opportunities to reduce emissions of highly potent greenhouse gases known as hydrofluorocarbons, directs agencies to develop a comprehensive methane strategy, and commits to protecting our forests and critical landscapes. The climate action plan also commits the United States to lead international efforts to address climate change, while proposing a number of actions to help prepare the United States for the impacts of climate change.