“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations,” Mr. Obama said in January. But he acknowledged that “the path toward sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult.”
The limits to be unveiled Friday are a slightly more relaxed standard for coal plants than the administration first proposed in April 2012. Officials said the new plan, which came after the E.P.A. received more than 2.5 million comments from the public and industry, will give coal plant operators more flexibility to meet the limits over several years.
Still, environmental groups are likely to hail the announcement as an important step in targeting the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country. Forty percent of all energy-related emissions of greenhouse gases in 2012 came from power plants, and most of that came from coal-burning power plants, according to the Energy Information Administration.
- Inaugural Address by President Barack Obama