Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Obama's New Clean Power Plan, Explained

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Obama's New Clean Power Plan, Explained

Article excerpt

The Obama administration's Clean Power Plan, released Monday, will establish the first national standards to limit carbon pollution from power plants, the nation's largest source.

A press release by the White House states "We already set limits that protect public health by reducing soot and other toxic emissions, but until now, existing power plants, the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States, could release as much carbon pollution as they wanted."

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will give each state its own goal to reduce emissions, but will grant each the authority to decide how they will meet it.

The final plan sets standards to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, 9 percent more ambitious than last summer's proposal, the press release notes.

The plan's flexibility is an attempt to ensure its regulations do not interfere with the industry's ability to maintain the reliability of the nation's electricity supply.

Vox reports that "states will have to submit plans by 2018, and start cutting by 2022 at the latest and then keep cutting through 2030. If states refuse to submit a plan, the EPA will impose its own federal plan."

According to the press release, the plan could have a significant positive effect on Americans' health.

It also estimates the creation of "tens of thousands of jobs" because of increasing "investment in cleaner, more modern, and more efficient technologies."

As a result, it says, by 2030, "renewables will account for 28 percent of energy capacity," which will lead to the average American saving nearly $85 a year on their energy bills in 2030, and total consumer savings of $155 billion between 2020 and 2030.

However, critics dispute the claim the plan will save consumers money.

According to National Public Radio, the chairman of coal company Murray Energy predicted on Monday that the regulations would lead to dramatic increases in the cost of electricity and said his company would challenge the regulations in court. …

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