- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 30, 2015

President Obama on Tuesday vowed that the U.S. will nearly triple the amount of electricity generated by renewable fuel sources by 2030, part of the White House’s broader plan to phase out fossil fuels.

In a joint announcement with Brazil, administration officials said the U.S. and Brazil intend to lead the world in the fight against climate change. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is in Washington this week to meet with Mr. Obama.

Both nations say they will increase the amount of electricity from clean energy sources — excluding hydropower — to 20 percent over the next 15 years.

The U.S. currently gets about 7 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.

White House officials say the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan, which will dramatically limit carbon emissions from power plants and will greatly reduce the amount of coal used in electricity generation, will speed the transition to renewable power.

“Our path to get there is consistent with the overall approach we’ve laid out, including principally being driven by the long-term incentives in the Clean Power Plan. One of the things we intend to accomplish in implementing the final Clean Power Plan rule … is to demonstrate strong, long-term incentives for investments in renewables,” Brian Deese, senior adviser to the president, told reporters on a conference call Tuesday morning.

The final Clean Power Plan is due out in August. Energy companies and Republican-led states have vowed to challenge the regulations in federal court.

The White House’s announcement comes just one day after the Supreme Court struck down a plan to limit mercury and other pollutants from power plants, saying the EPA failed to consider the $10 billion cost of implementing the plan.

Still, the administration is moving ahead with its climate agenda.

The U.S. and Brazil also agreed to conserve more forests, improve agricultural and grazing lands, engage in joint energy research projects, and take other steps to fight global warming.

• Ben Wolfgang can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

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