President Obama Speaks At Southern Site Of The Keystone Oil Pipeline

US President Barack Obama today unveiled a wide-ranging climate change action plan that, among other measures, seeks to limit carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The plan has provoked responses that see the plan as praiseworthy, sensible, misguided, and even hostile to affordable energy.

Below is a selection of responses, and you can read the Presidential Memorandum on Power Sector Carbon Pollution Standards here.

Tim Wirth, Vice Chair of the United Nations Foundation:

“The President deserves praise not only for the steps he announced today – but also for what he has achieved to date.  Under his leadership, fuel economy standards have doubled, strong incentives are driving innovation in renewable energy and the smart grid, and clean air standards are reducing emissions and improving public health.

“The President’s actions today will accelerate these trends – shifting power plants from coal to gas, encouraging greater energy efficiency and more renewable energy development.”

Tom Pyle, President of the Institute for Energy Research:

“Today we learn again what we already knew — President Obama is hostile to affordable energy sources and will use the full force of government to punish the millions of American men and women who work in these industries.”

API President Jack Gerard:

“The president recognizes the important role natural gas has played in reducing CO2 levels to near 20 year lows, thanks to private investments in energy exploration, production and refining.

“But by recycling his plans to raise taxes on US oil and natural gas companies, President Obama runs the risk of unwinding the significant environmental benefits from natural gas, threatens our economic recovery and dampens our ability to create millions of jobs for Americans.

“Ironically, the president’s plan to raise taxes by eliminating cost recovery for U.S. oil and natural gas companies would jeopardize his own climate goals by making some of those investments uneconomic.”

Dan Lashof, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Climate and Clean Air Program:

“This plan takes aim at the heart of the problem: the dangerous carbon pollution from our power plants. Reducing that pollution is the most important step we can take, as a nation, to stand up to climate change.

“Carbon pollution from power plants makes up 40 percent of our national carbon footprint. And yet, there are no federal limits on the amount of this pollution these plants may pump into our atmosphere. The Clean Air Act gives the president the authority, and the responsibility, to set common sense standards to reduce that pollution.”

National Association of Manufacturers President and CEO Jay Timmons:

“The President’s plan puts our country on a path toward the elimination of fossil fuels from our energy mix that is wholly inconsistent with his promotion of an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy plan just a few months ago.

“The EPA is not going to stop with today’s announcement. First, it will be coal. Then it will be natural gas. Ultimately, this plan will make the United States less energy secure, less affordable and unable to meet our future energy needs.”

Doug Howell, Sierra Club director of Washington’s Coal-Free PSE campaign

“Today’s climate announcement from the White House demonstrates the kind of bold leadership we’ve been waiting for to put us on the right path to fighting the ever-growing climate crisis.”

“The President is stepping up to reduce the carbon pollution that is destabilizing our climate, threatening our economy, and endangering our communities.”

Anna Galland, Director of 

“We strongly applaud President Obama for his commitments today to move us towards a clean energy future — especially his pledge to finally enforce the Clean Air Act to reduce dangerous climate pollution from all sources, including coal-fired power plants. We also welcome his commitment to prevent construction of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline if it would lead to significant climate pollution, since it would in fact be a huge source of such pollution.”