15 Mar 2013:
Obama Unveils New Actions
To Combat Climate Change in Second Term
Making good on his promise to fight climate change more aggressively in his second term, President Obama is unveiling two major initiatives to reduce the U.S.’s reliance on fossil fuels, including a new $2
billion Energy Security Trust to fund the next generation of green vehicles, as well as new reviews of federal projects to assess their climate impacts. During an appearance at Argonne National Laboratory today, Obama is expected to unveil details of the proposed energy trust, which would shift $2 billion in royalties from oil and gas operations on federal lands
into research into vehicles powered by renewable energy sources. An administration official said the policy will keep the U.S. at the forefront of the emerging green technology sector and will help the nation wean itself off fossil fuels. Obama is also expected to expand a Nixon-era law to require federal agencies to assess the climate effects of large projects
, including pipelines and highways. For instance, while the existing review of a coal-export facility will assess only whether the project will have local effects, a more comprehensive review may require consideration of the greenhouse gases emitted when the exported coal is burned in Asia, Bloomberg News reports.
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Photographer Peter Essick documents the swift changes wrought by global warming in Antarctica, Greenland, and other far-flung places. View the gallery.
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The Warriors of Qiugang
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In a Yale Environment 360
video, photographer Pete McBride documents how increasing water demands have transformed the Colorado River, the lifeblood of the arid Southwest. Watch the video.