Final Speech as CEQ Chair

Speaking at the Center for American Progress on February 14, her last day as chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Nancy Sutley said that the United States might consider reductions in methane and hydrofluorocarbons as it prepares its post-2020 pledge for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mike Boots, the council’s chief of staff, was named acting chair earlier this month to run the office until President Obama finds a permanent replacement. The country has already pledged to reduce its emissions 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.

President Orders Truck Standards

Speaking at the Safeway Distribution Center in Maryland February 18, President Obama directed the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to propose corporate average fuel economy and greenhouse gas emission standards for medium- and heavy-duty trucks beyond model year 2018 by next March, with a final rule to follow the following March. The standards would follow similar requirements already issued for model years 2014- 2018 for heavy-duty vehicles. To bolster investment in advanced vehicles, infrastructure and biofuels, President Obama also proposed $200 million for a new tax credit and an extension of the cellulosic biofuel producer credit that expired at the end of last year.

Third Climate Assessment Forthcoming

Speaking before the committee that oversees the development of the third National Climate Assessment February 21, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren said that President Obama is eagerly awaiting the release of the report. The report, to be released in late April, will focus on climate change impacts and response efforts, and will help guide the administration’s climate change planning.