Aside from some abortion rights Texas senate filibuster coverage, this week’s morning linkage is all about climate change and President Obama’s Tuesday speech at Georgetown University. The announced plan aims to use existing executive branch authority, including the EPA’s ability to regulate pollutants under the Clean Air Act, to initiate measures to control carbon pollution and other greenhouse gases. This move obviates the need for additional legislative action, which isn’t going to happen with this Congress. Beyond the headline announcement for new controls on power plants, the plan has a number of interesting details, particularly related to U.S. international finance and the reduction in support for coal projects around the world.
The general take is, as the FT notes, that this is a modest step in the right direction that reinforces the recent decline in U.S. emissions, down nearly 7% since 2005, driven in part by low natural gas prices, lower economic activity, and renewables. Here are some of the plan’s highlights: Continue reading