TOUGH COURSE: President Barack Obama has vowed to take climate change into his own hands. Now he has to deliver on a plan that is a complicated mix of rule-making and federal permitting.
NEEDS STATE ACTION: The plan's centerpiece is imposing first-ever limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants, which will require each state to draft its own compliance proposal. That places a major component in the hands of governors and state policymakers.
POLITICAL ISSUES: Obama doesn't need to sell the plan to skeptical lawmakers on Capitol Hill, but he still needs public support to help shield vulnerable Democrats already facing criticism over the plan; their fate in the 2014 elections will determine how much he can accomplish in his final two years.