President Barack Obama on Tuesday outlined a plan to use executive actions to cut carbon pollution and prepare for the costs of climate change.
"The question is not whether we need to act," Obama said in his speech at Georgetown University.
"The question now is whether we will have the courage to act before it's too late," he said. "And how we answer will have a profound impact on the world that we leave behind not just to you, but to your children and to your grandchildren."
Obama's plan includes capping carbon emissions from power plants and approving the Keystone XL pipeline only if it "does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution."
Republicans said Democrats in coal-producing and conservative states will have trouble in the next election cycle because of Obama's actions.
From the Wall Street Journal:
The GOP has begun promoting that message in states such as Kentucky and West Virginia, and in states likely to see competitive Senate races. The Republican message is Mr. Obama is waging a "war on coal" that will harm jobs and raise energy costs...
Speaking on the House floor Tuesday, Rep. Ann Wagner (R., Mo.) criticized the plan as "an attack on the middle class." She called the plan "the next step in this administration's war on coal that they have been waging for the last five years, and which will not stop until all coal-fired power plants are shut down by the EPA."
The Heritage Foundation responded to Obama's plan, warning that "reducing coal's share in America's energy mix would, before 2030, raise natural gas prices by 42 percent."
Sierra Club Minnesota Director Margaret Levin said Obama is putting his words into action.
"By committing to establish new energy efficiency standards for federal buildings and appliances, scale up responsible clean energy production on public lands with an ambitious new goal to power 6 million homes by 2020, and use the full authority of the Clean Air Act to cut dangerous carbon pollution from power plants, the President is stepping up to reduce the climate-disrupting pollution that is destabilizing our climate while threatening our economy and endangering our communities and families with extreme weather and dramatic sea level increases," Levin said in a statement.
LEARN MORE ABOUT OBAMA'S CLIMATE CHANGE PLAN:
• Obama Climate Change 2013 Policy Speech Outlines Executive Orders
"Among the top-billed items are imposing the first carbon limits on existing power plants and requiring all federal projects to be able to withstand the heightened storms and sea level rise associated with climate change." (Huffington Post)
• Obama: "We Don't Have Time for a Meeting of the Flat-Earth Society"
"We may not live to see the full realization of our actions," he said. "But we will have the satisfaction of realizing the world we leave for our children will be better off for what we do." (Mother Jones)
• Obama's "Case for Action" on Climate Change Doesn't Cut It
This four-paragraph "case for action" on climate change does not legitimize the next 15 pages of federal overreach into the energy sector (and by extension the homes, businesses, and pocketbooks of anyone who uses energy). (Heritage Foundation)