June 10, 2015

Obama Administration Readies Big Push On Climate Change

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June 10, 2015 | The Wall Street Journal | Amy Harder

First it was cars. Then power plants. Now, President Obama is turning his attention to cutting carbon dioxide emissions from commercial transportation.

As The Wall Street Journal reports, the Environmental Protection Agency will soon release new rules targeting emissions from big trucks (like 18-wheelers) and airplanes. The idea is to have something concrete to show at the United Nations climate summit in Paris in December and to make sure there is time for the new rules to unfold during the current administration.

According to The New York Times,

American aircraft are responsible for about 11 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States’ transportation sector, 3 percent of total American greenhouse gas emissions and about 29 percent of all aircraft greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, according to E.P.A. data.

Trucks are also big fuel-consumers, as The Times reports.

The truck proposals could cut millions of tons of carbon dioxide pollution while saving millions of barrels of oil. Trucks now account for a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles in the United States, even though they make up only 4 percent of traffic, the E.P.A. says.

EPA is also crafting rules that will target refrigerants and reduce methane leaks from oil and gas extraction.

As David Doniger, director of the climate program at the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Bloomberg: “It’s the summer of climate action.”