A top climate adviser to President Obama said regulations due this year on limiting carbon emissions from power plants will be flexible.

“I would anticipate the rules themselves open up the opportunity for states and regions to think about their energy platform together,” John Podesta, a White House counselor on climate issues, said today at a clean energy conference hosted by the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy near Washington.

The Environmental Protection Agency plans to release final rules for greenhouse gas emissions on new power plants later this year. The agency will also propose draft regulations for emissions at existing power plants.

The public is increasingly worried about effects of climate change, Podesta said. “I think people sense that something is awry. The weird weather affects people's mentality about this,” Podesta says.