Obama proposes 30% cut to carbon emissions
The Obama administration proposed regulations on Monday that would seek to reduce greenhouse gas or carbon emissions from power plants to 30% below 2005 levels by 2020.
The proposed rules, dubbed the “Clean Power Plan,” are based on the White House’s executive powers under the Clean Air Act (CAA), and are the biggest step ever taken by any U.S. president to reduce national emissions contributing to global warming.
These proposed rules will only apply to the electricity sector and mainly to about 600 coal-fired power plants, since coal accounts for the majority of the sector’s carbon emissions. Power plants account for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.
“The EPA’s crackdown on coal is going to cost us all real money and in return we’ll get very little noticeable gain,” four Republican senators wrote in a letter to the EPA on May 24.
“Climate change, fueled by carbon pollution, supercharges risks to our health, our economy, and our way of life. EPA is delivering on a vital piece of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan by proposing a Clean Power Plan that will cut harmful carbon pollution from our largest source — power plants,”
said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a statement.
“By leveraging cleaner energy sources and cutting energy waste, this plan will clean the air we breathe while helping slow climate change so we can leave a safe and healthy future for our kids. We don’t have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment — our action will sharpen America’s competitive edge, spur innovation, and create jobs.”