Center for American Progress

STATEMENT: CAP’s Tanden, Podesta, and Browner Respond to President Obama’s Plan to Address Climate Change
Press Statement

Washington, D.C. — Today Neera Tanden, John Podesta, and Carol Browner responded to President Barack Obama’s speech outlining his plan to address climate change through executive actions. The president’s plan offers new economic opportunities and puts the United States on course to meet the goal of 17 percent reductions of climate change emissions by 2020. Today’s announcement builds on the president’s already impressive legacy in this arena, which includes making cars more fuel efficient and helping forge international efforts to phase down super pollutants such as HFCs.

Neera Tanden, President, released the following statement:

President Obama announced a bold climate action plan that lays the groundwork for meeting our moral obligation to protect future generations from climate change. The human and economic toll from destructive floods, droughts, heat waves, hurricanes, and wildfires is already far too high for our businesses, families, and governments. In the past two years alone, there were 25 extreme weather events that cost more than $1 billion each and $188 billion in total damage. The president’s plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants is a significant step toward creating a healthier community and more robust economy. Building a strong clean energy economy by investing in more renewable energy sources is vital to economic growth based in American ingenuity.

Knowing the facts about the minimal job creation Keystone XL would bring, today’s announcement recognizes that the possible catastrophic risks outweigh the paltry rewards and helps create a clear path toward reducing our carbon pollution that contributes to climate change.

John Podesta, Chair, released the following statement:

President Obama’s climate plan announced today is the final piece in restoring America’s global leadership to solve the climate crisis. Today’s executive actions, combined with the American-Chinese agreement between President Obama and President Xi to phase down the super pollutant hydrofluorocarbons and Secretary of State John Kerry’s call for partnership with India to address climate change through energy efficiency and clean energy investments, will boost economic growth, create jobs, and prevent dangerous temperature increases that would be catastrophic for growth and development.

Carol Browner, Distinguished Senior Fellow, released the following statement:

The president’s plan to cut carbon pollution from power plants is the latest in a series of steady and responsible steps he has taken to address climate change that threatens the health of our kids and the planet. Today we already set limits for arsenic, mercury, and lead. Cutting carbon pollution will protect public health and move our economy toward cleaner, more efficient forms of energy.

To speak with CAP experts about this issue, please contact Anne Shoup at and 202.481.7146.