But that's not to say his actions will lack for controversy. His proposals are certain to engender stiff resistance from Republicans in Congress and the broader business community.
"I think this is absolutely crazy," House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said last Thursday in anticipation of Obama's announcement. "Why would you want to increase the cost of energy and kill American jobs at a time when the American people are still asking, 'Where are the jobs?'"
Perhaps no proposal of Obama's is more controversial than his anticipated directive to the EPA. Proponents of such a rule argue that the move is essential to addressing the underlying causes of climate change; critics charge that these new rules would only result in higher energy prices for consumers, amounting to a de-facto tax on consumers.
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The president's forthcoming climate actions don't stop at the EPA, however. Obama is also set to outline a series of initiatives that span across the government, all with the goal of stemming the production of greenhouse gases.
"The president believes we have a moral obligation to leave our children a planet that's not polluted," said a senior administration official. "It's true that no single step can reverse the effects of climate change, but it's important to prepare."
Internationally, the president will call for an end to U.S. financing of new coal plants abroad that lack filters or carbon-capture technology. (An exception would be made for developing countries in which there is little alternative.) Obama will also seek a new international agreement in 2015 with a goal of establishing international emissions agreements past 2020. On a global level, Obama will also push for free-trade agreements supporting environmentally friendly goods and services.
Domestically, Obama will also announce steps to boost fuel-efficiency standards for heavy vehicles in the United States after 2018. And the president will look to improve the government's energy efficiency, for instance by requiring federal agencies to issue reports on the effect of climate change on key sectors of the economy. Obama will also outline a climate data initiative, and direct new federal projects meet standards to withstand storm or flood risk—a proposal that seems like a direct outgrowth of the government's experience in dealing with the aftermath of 2012's Hurricane Sandy and its effect on the New York and New Jersey area.
(Read More: Global Carbon Emissions Hit Record High in 2012)