WASHINGTON - President Obama is expected to call for curtailing emissions of carbon dioxide from existing power plants, the country's single largest source of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, in a speech to outline broad initiatives on climate change.
The White House announced that Obama would make a speech on climate change on Tuesday afternoon at Georgetown University in Washington.
Under the president's plan, the Environmental Protection Agency would be asked to develop rules setting emissions standards for existing power plants. The department is finishing long-awaited regulations for new plants.
The Interior Department could be called on to increase the development of renewable energy on federal lands. The Energy Department could be tasked with issuing stricter energy efficiency standards on consumer goods, such as major appliances.
"This Tuesday at Georgetown University, I'll lay out my vision of where I believe we need to go: a national plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change and lead global efforts to fight it," Obama said in a 90-second video released Saturday.
Obama offered no details about what he would say. He called battling climate change a "serious challenge" but "one uniquely suited to America's strengths," arguing that U.S. scientists, engineers and farmers will come up with new ways to reduce the country's carbon dioxide emissions.
In his inaugural speech and later in the State of the Union address, Obama called on Congress to act on cutting greenhouse gases. He warned that if Congress failed to take steps, he would. His plans would not require congressional approval and could be carried out by federal agencies.
Many members of Congress, especially Republicans, reject the idea that climate change is caused by human activity such as burning fossil fuels.
"There is no single step that can reverse the effects of climate change," Obama says in the video. "This is a challenge that affects everyone, and we all have a stake in solving it together."