Obama says it’s the biggest and most important step the U.S. has ever taken to combat climate change.
The administration’s plan, which is to be announced at the White House, consists of three major environmental regulations, which combined are intended to drastically cut emissions.
The finalized plan goes beyond an initial proposal calling for a 30-percent cut in nationwide in Carbon dioxide emissions by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.
Laying out how climate change was a threat to the health, wellbeing and security of millions of Americans, and adding that time was of the essence, Obama said in a video released early today: “Climate change is not a problem for another generation”.
Emissions from power plants are a main focus of the plan, with Obama saying in the video that they were “the single biggest source of harmful carbon pollution that contributes to climate change”. Experts estimate that as many as 25 states will join in a lawsuit against the rules and that the disputes will end up before the Supreme Court. The plan, which relies on cutting the reliance on coal and natural gas and replacing it with lower-carbon resources, will put the country on the path to meeting Obama’s pledge to negotiators trying to reach a global accord this year, an administration official said. The previous target was set at 30 percent. The EPA is tweaking its forecasts for the amount of natural-gas and renewable-energy growth it estimates can be accomplished in those states, according to two people briefed on the plans.
The White House will release the final version of America’s Clean Power Plan, a set of environmental rules and regulations that will home in on the pollution from the nation’s existing power plants, setting limits on power-plant carbon emissions for the first time.
The people familiar with the changes to the timing of the plan said they had not seen the other details of the coming rules, and they noted that other elements could be tightened to make up for the timetable extension. States have to submit an initial version of their plans by 2016 and final versions by 2018.
As it worked on the final rule, the administration came under assault from struggling coal producers, power operatives and Republican lawmakers.
Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican majority leader, has started a pre-emptive campaign against the rules, asking governors to refuse to comply. The new idea on renewable incentives gives the EPA more of a prod to states to get them to submit plans.
Power plants account for a few 40 per cent of US emissions of carbon dioxide, the most common greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change. As stated by the official, with the changes in this regulation, the U.S. will be on track to meet that goal.