We’ve all been anticipating some serious climate action from President Obama, and his most recent announcement did not disappoint. On Sunday he announced a call for Congress to develop a $2 billion Energy Security Trust to fund cutting-edge clean energy projects, as well as a plan to deploy a law that would require all federal agencies to consider climate change when all new projects are being planned. He also called for systematically ridding the transportation sector of petroleum, a move that would drop transportation emissions by as much as 80% by 2050.
The $2 billion would be spread out over 10 years, and is to be paid for by a small portion of oil and gas profits through a tax that applies to public land operations.
The order to federal agencies to consider climate change was based on a law passed during the Nixon Administration, which required federal agencies to consider the impact proposed projects would have on water, soil, and air. The impacts are typically local, but this new order would require agencies to look at the impact of projects on a more global scale as well. This could throw a wrench in projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial plan that has many people deeply concerned.
“You see, after years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to take control of our energy future,” Obama said in his most recent weekly address. I’d say these all sound like some pretty lofty goals, but after years and years of propositions and swinging ideas around only to have them shot down, I think it’s time to get serious, and this is a good start for the president.