The US government announces its strongest action against climate change to date
The Obama administration today announced its plan to cut carbon pollution levels by 30 percent by 2030. The plan is widely being called the strongest action ever taken by the US to curb the effects of climate change. The big move, bases its target on carbon levels recorded in 2005.
The new rule, issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), mainly targets coal-fired power plants, which emit more carbon than any other type of plant. There are more than 600 such plants in the US and hundreds will face closure should the new regulation make it through the barrage of legal attacks it's bound to ignite. The new plan will also drastically change the American electricity industry, reports The New York Times, especially regarding how power is generated and used.
To help implement these changes, the EPA's plan provides states with a number of policy options that will allow them to curb carbon pollution. If a state can make changes to its electricity grid by installing wind and solar technologies, for instance, it won't have to shut down its coal-fired power plants.
States can also cap carbon at a certain level, and allow various companies to buy and sell permits to pollute. But if a state fails to come up with an adequate solution, reports USA Today, the EPA will have the authority to step in and make its own changes. The New York Times reports that the plan could cost up to $8.8 billion annually, but it could also provide the US with up to $93 billion in economic benefits in the long run.