The Center for American Progress (CAP) has released a report for the new administration that provides recommendations on how to handle economic, domestic and national security policy issues. One of the issues CAP addresses is how to build a low-carbon economy. The report says, “climate change within our lifetimes will create profound disruptions in every area: health of the environment, economic prosperity, public welfare, and national security.”
In order to combat climate change, CAP recommends three policy initiatives. The first initiative would be to demonstrate immediate leadership through the executive branch by “taking measures to coordinate U.S. climate and energy policy across all federal agencies, and using executive orders, public communications, and other presidential prerogatives to manage carbon, capture energy savings, and promote renewable technologies.” CAP recommends that this be done through the formation of a National Energy Council. The second recommended initiative is for the Obama Administration to work with Congress to pass climate change legislation, such as a cap-and-trade bill, as well as other legislation that promotes investments in clean energy. The third initiative would be to reestablish the United States as a leader in international climate talks.
CAP also recommends the use of executive orders for such things as analyzing greenhouse gas emissions as a prerequisite to NEPA compliance. Executive Orders could also be used, for instance, to grant waivers to states, such as California, that look to regulate emissions of GHGs from vehicles.
CAP addresses CCS by saying that a “requirement to capture and store carbon in coal-fired power plants” is one of the complimentary policies to any global warming legislation. They go on to say, “Coal can play an important and productive role in our energy mix, but the government and private sectors must collaborate on a full-scale ‘Manhattan Project’ to achieve dramatic breakthroughs in carbon capture-and-storage technology.”