Today, Obama made a very major environmental speech. Here are the bullet points:
Curbing carbon pollution
• Directs the EPA to establish carbon pollution standards for both new and existing power plants.
• Promises $8 billion in loan guarantees for fossil fuel projects.
• Directs the Interior Department to permit 10 gigawatts of wind and solar projects on public lands by 2020.
• Expands the president’s Better Building Challenge, helping buildings cut waste to become at least 20 percent more energy efficient by 2020.
• Sets a goal to reduce carbon pollution by at least 3 billion metric tons cumulatively by 2030 through efficiency standards set for appliances and federal buildings.
• Commits to developing fuel economy standards for heavy-duty vehicles.
• Aims to reduce hydrofluorocarbons, highly potent greenhouse gases.
• Directs agencies to develop a comprehensive methane strategy.
• Commits to forests and other landscape protection.
Preparing for climate change
• Directs agencies to support local investment to help vulnerable communities become more resilient to the effects of global warming.
• Establishment of flood-risk reduction standards in the Hurricane Sandy-affected region.
• Will work with the health-care industry to create sustainable, resilient hospitals.
• Distribution of science-based information for farmers, ranchers and landowners.
• Establishment of the National Drought Resilience Partnership to make rangelands less vulnerable to catastrophic fires.
• Climate Data Initiative will provide information for state, local and private-sector leaders.
Leading global efforts to address climate change
• Commits to expanding new and existing initiatives, including those with China, India and other major emitting countries.
• Calls for the end of U.S. government support for public financing of new coal-fired power plants overseas.*
• Expands government capacity for planning and response.
*Except for efficient coal plants in the poorest countries, or for plants using carbon capture.
All of the three major news networks spent mere minutes on the speech — which ran in total 49 minutes.
MSNBC: 41 seconds
FOX News: 4 minutes and 37 seconds
CNN: 8 minutes and 5 seconds
The Weather Channel: 49 minutes
While the lack of coverage is shocking enough, perhaps the most astounding media failure of the day was by FOX News, who broke from Obama’s climate speech to interview climate denier Chris Horner. Horner works for the conservative Competitive Enterprise Institute, and is largely funded by the oil money, including the Koch Brothers and Exxon-Mobil.