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Ear to the Ground

Obama Unveils Rules to Reduce Carbon Pollution by 30 Percent

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Posted on Jun 2, 2014

Photo by otodo (CC BY-SA 2.0)

After six years of refusing to use his executive authority to cut carbon pollution, the president Monday announced a historic plan to reduce poisonous substances emitted from power plants.

Many who are concerned about the deteriorating environment see the proposal as a hint toward a U.S.-led global deal to end climate change. It also appears to be the start of what The Guardian called “an epic battle over the environment in this year’s mid-term elections.”

The Guardian reports:

The new rules, formally announced by the Environmental Protection Agency, represent the first time Barack Obama, or any other president, has moved to regulate carbon pollution from power plants – the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change.

The EPA said the regulations, which would cut carbon pollution from power plants 30% from 2005 levels by 2030, would “fight climate change while supplying America with reliable and affordable power”.

… The new rules were not as ambitious as some environmental groups had hoped. America is already a third of the way towards meeting the national average of a 30% cut in emissions. Some states, especially those in the north-east, have already exceeded the standard.

Power plants are the largest single source of such pollution, accounting for nearly 40 percent of the emissions that are warming the climate and destabilizing the ecosphere.

States have until 2016 to come up with individual strategies to meet the targets. EPA rules will not come into force in all states until 2020, however, according to one individual briefed on the plan.

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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