President Obama announced several executive actions that promote energy efficiency in buildings and renewable energy. These initiatives come at a time when the administration is focusing on climate change and policy, with a recent update to the National Climate Assessment Report and with the EPA expected to create new rules regarding coal-fired power plant emissions. Obama made these announcements at a California Walmart, highlighting the company’s commitment to renewable energy. The initiatives include new efficiency standards for conveyor belts, escalators, and walk-in coolers as well as a program to replace outdoor lighting in public spaces with more efficient fixtures. Obama has also renewed commitments to make federal buildings more energy efficient.
President Obama will announce on Friday a handful of executive actions and private and nonprofit groups’ investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
The initiatives will not amount to much in terms of energy policy or their impact on global warming. But they are part of a broader campaign to build public support for an Environmental Protection Agency rule that the White House will unveil in June. The rule, which has already run into objections, will limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants and is expected to create a major new market for zero-carbon energy from sources like wind and solar.