Obama will start climate change fight with reductions in carbon emissions

“The net effects of the pipeline’s impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward,” he said.

Mr. Obama also vowed to open $8 billion in loan guarantees to support innovative fossil-fuel energy projects and said he would direct the Interior Department to permit more renewable-energy projects on public lands to power more than 6 million homes by 2020. He also pledged to develop higher fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles and set a goal for the federal government to consume 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources within the next seven years.

“By the end of the next decade, these combined efficiency standards for appliances and federal buildings will reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion tons,” he said. “That’s an amount equal to what our entire energy sector emits in nearly half a year. So I know these standards don’t sound all that sexy. But think of it this way: That’s the equivalent of planting 7.6 billion trees and letting them grow for 10 years, all while doing the dishes.”

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