President Barack Obama is preparing to tell all federal agencies for the first time that they should consider the impact on global warming before approving major projects, from pipelines to highways.
...In taking the step, Obama would be fulfilling a vow to act alone in the face of a Republican-run House of Representatives unwilling to pass measures limiting greenhouse gases. He’d expand the scope of a Nixon-era law that was first intended to force agencies to assess the effect of projects on air, water and soil pollution.
“If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will,” Obama said last month during his State of the Union address. He pledged executive actions “to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.”
The president is scheduled to deliver a speech on energy today at the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois. He is pressing Congress to create a $2 billion clean-energy research fund with fees paid by oil and gas producers.
While some U.S. agencies already take climate change into account when assessing projects, the new guidelines would apply across-the-board to all federal reviews.