Obama was proposing a national action plan for address climate change issues in his speech on Tuesday.
The plan includes regulations that will limit how much carbon pollution can be emitted from both new and existing power plants, which will be similar to the administration's approach to car gas mileage standards.
The White House argued that increasing the mileage cars are required to achieve would limit the amount of emissions that are produced by automobiles.
Obama said on Tuesday that he was moving further than automobiles because "I refuse to condemn your generation and future generations to a planet that's beyond fixing.
"That's why today I'm announcing a new national climate action plan, and I'm here to enlist your generation's help in keeping the United States of America a leader, a global leader, in the fight against climate change," he said.
Under the gas mileage rules Obama was touting on Tuesday, automakers will have to produce cars that achieve higher miles per gallon beginning in 2017, culminating in the 54.5 miles per gallon requirement in 2025. The Obama administration has said the rules will provide an average fuel cost savings of more than $8,000 by 2025 over the lifetime of a vehicle.