President Obama detailed a number of goals he intends to pursue administratively aimed at combating greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the use of renewable energy.

In a speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday, June 25th, President Obama said he has directed the Environmental Protection Agency to draft new rules that will regulate carbon emissions from power plants. A 2007 Supreme Court decision gave the EPA the authority to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Last year, the EPA proposed regulations that would limit carbon emissions from power plants but those regulations have not yet been finalized. These new regulations Obama has directed the EPA to issue are not expected to be released until June of 2014.

In addition, the President’s plan includes $8 billion in loan guarantees for investment in carbon capture projects and other innovative technologies. President Obama also announced that the Department of Interior will increase permitting of renewable energy projects including wind and solar on public lands in an effort to generate enough electricity to power 6 million homes by 2020.

Along with $7 billion worth of power purchase agreements the Department of Defense is committing to renewable energy, Obama has pledged that the federal government will receive 20% of its electricity from renewable sources within the next seven years.

As has been the case in the recent past, renewable energy and greenhouse gas regulation is a fast moving area and expected to continue to be so in the foreseeable term.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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