Nightly News   |  June 25, 2013

Obama directs EPA to limit power plant pollution

President Obama called on the EPA to act, saying he refuses to condemn future generations to “a planet that’s beyond fixing.” NBC’s Anne Thompson reports.

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>>> president obama made a strong statement today on the politically charged issue of climate change . announcing a sweeping plan to reduce greenhouse gases , saying americans are already paying the price for inaction.

>> as a president. as a father, and as an american, i'm here to say we need to act.

>> i refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that's beyond fixing.

>> the president's been under a lot of pressure on this topic. our chief environmental affairs correspondent anne thompson with us in the studio today.

>> good evening, brian. president obama is going to bypass congress and he says he will direct the epa to limit the carbon pollution that comes from power plants to burn coal and natural gas , just like it does mercury or arsenic. most power plants are responsible for 40% of the nation's carbon pollution, which fuels climate change . the president has also ordered that fuel efficiency be increased on heavy duty vehicles such as trucks and buses. and he's also ordered that renewable energy double on federal land , and that federal agencies do more to support local governments in trying to improve coastlines and roads to defend against climate change . as you can imagine, the coal lobby is not very happy, brian. they say this is in effect declaring war on coal. i spoke to one power company ceo, tom ferrell from dominion resources , he says with the right time and the right technology, he thinks the power industry can make this work.

>> and there's the pipeline that's a part of this as well?

>> that's right, the keystone pipeline bringing oil from canada. he said today he would only o prove it if it did not exacerbate more carbon pollution. what does significantly exacerbate mean?

>> anne thompson with the president's