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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jun 25, 2013 9:09 AM Flag

    Obama unveils climate change plan that goes around Congress

    Obama unveils climate change plan that goes around Congress

    By Ben Geman - 06/25/13 06:00 AM ET

    President Obama is launching fresh battles over climate change with plans to curb emissions using executive powers that sidestep Congress — including controversial rules to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. [WATCH VIDEO]

    The wide-ranging plan, which Obama will tout in a speech later Tuesday, also beefs up federal efforts to help deploy low-carbon and renewable energy, and has programs to help harden communities against climate-fueled extreme weather.

    Internationally, it seeks to knock down trade barriers to climate-friendly goods and services; enhance cooperation with India, China and other big carbon emitters; and curb U.S. support for overseas coal plant construction, among many other steps.

    The plan is designed to get around Congress, where major climate bills have no political traction. White House spokesman Jay Carney said Monday that Obama’s executive approach “reflects reality.”

    But the plan, especially its controversial Environmental Protection Agency power plant regulations, will nonetheless face big hurdles on and off Capitol Hill.

    That’s especially true when it comes to far-reaching rules to curb carbon from existing power plants, which account for around a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, largely due to coal-plant emissions.

    Tackling existing plants is a step the EPA has previously said it would take, but now, for the first time, the agency has open White House backing.

    The EPA will propose the existing plant standards by June of next year and finalize them a year later, an administration official said.

    White House officials also say the administration will float a modified proposal for new plants later this year amid delays in a draft rule unveiled in 2012.

    One eventual option for opponents of the rules would be the Congressional Review Act (CRA), a mid-1990s law that allows Congress to nullify final agency regulatio

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