White House releases energy plan to fight climate change

 White House releases energy plan to fight climate change

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - The White House on Tuesday released a four-year energy plan designed to fight climate change, modernize power plants and find other ways to ensure the nation a steady supply of safe energy.

Vice President Joe Biden is planning to visit Peco Energy Co. in Philadelphia on Tuesday afternoon to discuss the administration's Quadrennial Energy Review.

The report said the U.S. has become the world's leading producer of oil and natural gas combined as its dependence on foreign oil declines.

The review also found that electricity from solar sources has increased 20-fold since 2008, while the amount of wind energy produced has tripled.

Administration officials have been meeting with major utility firms, experts and other stakeholders to assess the nation's energy situation and analyze future needs.

"Responding to these trends and issues ... will require that we address the growing vulnerabilities posed by climate change, the evolving energy mix, cyber and physical threats, growing interdependencies, aging infrastructure, and workforce needs," the White House said in a press release Tuesday accompanying the report.

Officials say the challenges ahead include protecting energy plants from cyber and physical threats; moving liquid fuels and electricity from supply regions to demand centers; and preparing workers for 21st century jobs in energy industries.

"Approximately 1 million people were employed in energy transmission, storage, and distribution jobs in 2013. By making smart investments, there is the potential to support 1.5 million additional energy sector jobs," the White House said.

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and John Holdren, policy director of the White House Office of Science and Technology, plan to join Biden in Philadelphia.

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