Washington (CNN) — President Barack Obama will begin making good on past pledges to combat climate change by calling in a speech Tuesday for new limits on emissions from existing coal-fired power plants, senior administration officials said.
The move will represent a new impetus by the government that is certain to anger the coal industry and Republicans while pleasing environmental groups that have called on the president to expand such regulations on coal plants, the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States.
“There’s no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change. But when it comes to the world we leave our children, we owe it to them to do what we can,” Obama said in a video released Saturday, announcing his upcoming speech.
While the Obama administration created regulations for newly built coal plants during his first term, he will use a presidential memorandum to direct the Environmental Protection Agency to establish carbon pollution standards for already active plants.
Senior administration officials did not outline the specifics of the new standards, saying instead the administration will start a “very aggressive” process in which they’ll work with states and stakeholders — labor leaders, nonprofit organizations, etc.
But don’t expect the regulations to take effect anytime soon. Obama will direct the EPA to come up with a detailed draft proposal by June 2014, and a finalized version one year later.
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