President Barack Obama will announce plans Tuesday for sweeping new climate change rules for the Environmental Protection Agency that he plans to execute by circumventing Congress, The New York Times reports
The new regulations are expected to target power plants that provide electricity across the country, likely impacting the costs to consumers. The president is also expected to announce increased funding for alternative fuel production.
"This is a serious challenge – but it’s one uniquely suited to America’s strengths," Obama said in a video released by the White House this weekend.
"There’s no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change. But when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can," Obama said.
Any attempt by the president to pursue his climate change agenda through new laws passed by Congress would likely result in gridlock. However, executing these orders by administrative fiat could take until the end of his term.
Environmentalists are eagerly awaiting the announcement, but lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are skeptical, The Hill reports.
Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio called the new effort "absolutely crazy," and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia predicted "shortsighted" rules that will increase the cost of electricity.
"Why do you want to penalize and beat the living daylights out of America and American taxpayers, and American ratepayers? It is just wrong, it is shortsighted and wrong, and I will fight it until the end," Manchin said.
Environmentalists blame all manners of weather conditions on rising temperatures, and are optimistic Obama's new bureaucratic rules will turn back the tide.
"We hope that the president will also announce measures to help communities become more resilient to future storms, floods, drought, heat waves, and wildfires," Daniel J. Weiss, director of climate strategy at the liberal Center for American Progress.
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