President Obama is preparing to use “the pen and phone” to push more solar power and energy efficiency measures. He wants to deal with global warming but not congressional Republicans.
Obama will order executive agencies to push a slew of new programs to promote solar power, green jobs training and subsidize investing in energy efficient appliances and equipment. Obama will also announce a plan to complete solar panel installations on the roof of the White House.
The president will make his announcement Friday at a Wal-Mart in Mountain View, California and outline 300 “private and public sector commitments” to reduce carbon dioxide, which is released into the atmosphere through the burning of hydrocarbons and through natural processes.
Some of the actions Obama will announce include ordering the Energy Department to expand a solar power sector job training at community colleges in order to get 50,000 workers into the solar industry. The Energy Department will also finance another $2 billion in energy performance contracts for federal buildings.
Energy regulators will also be ordered to finalize energy efficiency mandates for small electric motors and walk-in coolers and freezers.
“The federal government should lead by example in cutting harmful carbon pollution,” Michael Boots, acting chair of the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality told reporters on a conference call Thursday.
“Acting on climate change is more urgent than ever,” said Boots.
The announcement comes just days after the Obama administration released the third National Climate Assessment, which tried to paint a grim picture for the country if temperatures continue to rise and nothing is done to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
Obama is hoping to use this study to bolster his calls for more policies that limit emissions and fight global warming. The report said that U.S. temperatures could rise another 4 degrees Fahrenheit and sea levels could rise 4 feet in the coming decades.
But the study has been criticized by dissenting climate scientists as “pseudoscience” and an excuse to further regulate the economy.
“This National Assessment is much closer to pseudoscience than it is to science,” wrote scientists Patrick Michaels and Paul Knappenberger of the libertarian Cato Institute in their comments submitted to the Obama administration.
“It clearly believes that virtually everything in our society is tremendously dependent on the surface temperature, and, because of that, we are headed towards certain and inescapable destruction, unless we take its advice and decarbonize our economy, pronto,” Michaels and Knappenberger added.
Climatologist Dr. Judith Curry of the Georgia Institute of Technology slammed the report for the “false premise that any change in the 20th century has been caused by [man-made global warming]. Worse yet is the spin being put on this by the Obama admin.”
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