Today the President will unveil the most aggressive initiative in
American history to cut power plant emissions, as well as a bold new
strategy for addressing global climate change.
The Clear Skies Initiative. Cuts power plant
emissions of the three worst air pollutants -- nitrogen oxides, sulfur
dioxide, and mercury -- by 70 percent. The initiative will improve air
quality using a proven, market-based approach.
Global Climate Change. Commits America to an
aggressive strategy to cut greenhouse gas intensity by 18% over the
next 10 years. The initiative also supports vital climate change
research and ensures that America's workers and citizens of the
developing world are not unfairly penalized.
The Clear Skies Initiative
Dramatically & Steadily Cuts Power Plant Emissions of Three of the
Worst Air Pollutants:
Cuts sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 73 percent,
from current emissions of 11 million tons to a cap of 4.5 million tons
in 2010, and 3 million tons in 2018.
Cuts emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 67
percent, from current emissions of 5 million tons to a cap of 2.1
million tons in 2008, and to 1.7 million tons in 2018.
Cuts mercury emissions by 69 percent -- the first-ever
national cap on mercury emissions. Emissions will be cut from current
emissions of 48 tons to a cap of 26 tons in 2010, and 15 tons in 2018.
Uses a Proven Market-Based Approach:
Protects Americans from respiratory and
cardiovascular diseases by dramatically reducing smog, acid rain, fine
particles, regional haze, nitrogen and mercury deposition.
Protects our wildlife, habitats and ecosystem health.
Cuts pollution further, faster, cheaper, and with more
certainty, using a 'cap-and trade' program, replacing a cycle of
endless litigation with rapid and certain improvements in air quality.
Saves as much as $1 billion annually in compliance costs
that are passed along to American consumers, and improves air quality
and protects the reliability and affordability of electricity.
Uses the model of our most successful clean air law -- the
1990 Clean Air Act's acid rain program -- and encourages use of new and
cleaner pollution control technologies.
A New Approach on Global Climate Change
The President has committed America to an aggressive new strategy
to cut greenhouse gas intensity by 18% over the next 10 years. The
initiative also supports vital climate change research and ensures that
America's workers and citizens of the developing world are not unfairly
penalized. The President's initiative puts America on a path to slow
the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, and -- as the science justifies
-- to stop, and then reverse that growth.
Cutting Greenhouse Gas Intensity by 18 Percent Over
the Next 10 Years. Greenhouse gas intensity is the ratio of greenhouse
gas emissions to economic output. The President's goal seeks to lower
our rate of emissions from an estimated 183 metric tons per million
dollars of GDP in 2002, to 151 metric tons per million dollars of GDP
in 2012. By significantly slowing the growth of greenhouse gases, this
policy will put America on a path toward stabilizing GHG concentration
in the atmosphere in the long run, while sustaining the economic growth
needed to finance our investments in a new, cleaner energy
structure. America is already improving its GHG intensity;
new policies and programs will accelerate that progress, avoiding more
than 500 million metric tons of GHG emissions over the next ten years --
the equivalent of taking nearly one out of every three cars off the
road. This goal is comparable to the average progress that nations
participating in the Kyoto Protocol are required to achieve.
A New Tool to Measure and Credit Emissions
Reductions. The U.S. will improve its GHG registry to enhance
measurement accuracy, reliability and verifiability, working with and
taking into account emerging domestic and international approaches.
These improvements will give businesses incentives to invest in new,
cleaner technology and voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Protect and Provide Transferable Credit for Emission
Reductions. The President will direct the Secretary of Energy to
recommend reforms to: (1) ensure that businesses that register
voluntary reductions are not penalized under a future climate policy,
and (2) give credit to companies that can show real emissions
Reviewing Progress on Climate Change and Taking
Additional Action if Necessary in 2012, which may include a broad,
market-based program, as well as additional initiatives to accelerate
technology. If, in 2012, we find that we are not on track toward
meeting our goal, and sound science justifies further policy action,
the United States will respond with additional measures that may
include a broad, market-based program as well as additional incentives
and voluntary measures designed to accelerate technology development
Unprecedented Funding for Climate Change-Related
Programs: The President's budget in FY 2003 provides $4.5 billion for
global climate change-related activities -- a $700 million increase.
This includes the first year of funding for a five-year, $4.6 billion
commitment to tax credits for renewable energy sources.
A Comprehensive Range of New and Expanded Domestic
and International Policies, including:
Expanded research and development of climate-related
science and technology
Expanded use of renewable energy
Business sector challenges
Improvements in the transportation sector
Incentives for sequestration
Enhanced support for climate observation and mitigation
in the developing world.
A Better Alternative to the Kyoto
Protocol. Rather than making drastic reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions that would put millions of Americans out of
work and undermine our ability to make long-term investments in clean
energy -- as the Kyoto Protocol would have required -- the President's
growth-based approach will accelerate the development of new
technologies and encourage partnerships on climate change issues with
the developing world.