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  • bluecheese4u bluecheese4u Jun 21, 2013 1:17 AM Flag

    New Obama climate plan may draw from panel's recommendations

    New Obama climate plan may draw from panel's recommendations

    By Valerie Volcovici
    WASHINGTON | Thu Jun 20, 2013 6:20pm EDT

    (Reuters) - Clues about what to expect in a White House package of climate measures expected within weeks might be found in a report given to the president in March by a blue-chip team of scientists and business leaders.

    The President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST), led by President Barack Obama's chief science adviser John Holdren, listed six major components that should be central to the administration's second-term climate change strategy.

    The document outlined a mix of measures that different federal agencies could take on, such as power plant emissions standards by the Environmental Protection Agency and more research and development for carbon capture by the Department of Energy.

    "We gave him a series of suggestions. It is his internal team - led by Holdren - that is looking at those and other ideas as they develop the strategy," said PCAST member Daniel Schrag, director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment.

    Heather Zichal, Obama's energy and climate policy adviser, confirmed on Wednesday that an announcement on climate change measures is coming within weeks, and gave the most details so far of what might be in, and out, of the package.

    The administration plans to feature policies that don't require congressional action or extra funding, such as moves to expand energy efficiency standards for appliances, accelerate clean energy development on public lands and use the Clean Air Act to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, Zichal said.

    Soon after his re-election in November, Obama tasked PCAST, whose members include Google executive chairman Eric Schmidt, with making recommendations on a climate change agenda that he could roll out after inauguration.

    Ernest Moniz, then a professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and now U.S. Energy Secretary, was a member at the time

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