President Obama to unveil plans addressing climate change
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President Barack Obama will unveil his final plan for addressing climate change on Monday. White House officials say this version of the Clean Power Plan takes into account some 4 million comments received by the EPA during the public comment period. Among the features of this version of the plan is a marked push towards renewable energy — the plan outlines a prioritization of wind and solar development, and more investment in clean energy with a goal of 30 percent more renewable energy in 2030.
From our partners at the BBC:
The aim of the revised Clean Power Plan is to cut greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. power stations by nearly a third within 15 years. However, opponents in the energy industry have vowed to fight the plan.
They say Mr. Obama has declared “a war on coal.” Power plants fired by coal provide more than a third of the U.S. electricity supply.
The revised plan will aim to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 32 percent by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.
Each state will have an emission-cutting goal assigned to it and must submit a proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency on how it will meet the target.
The BBC’s Tom Bateman in Washington says Mr. Obama will be hoping that Monday’s announcement secures his legacy on climate change.
The measures would give the president the moral authority he needs to argue for global reductions in greenhouse gases at a major conference in Paris later this year. However, several state governors are already saying they will simply ignore the plans.
In face of the criticism, the White House said the release of the plan was “the starting gun for an all-out climate push” by the president and his cabinet.
In a video released by the White House, Mr. Obama says the new limits were backed up by decades of data showing that without action the world faced more extreme weather and escalating health problems.
“Climate change is not a problem for another generation. Not any more,” Mr. Obama says. “My administration will release the final version of America’s Clean Power Plan, the biggest, most important step we have ever taken to combat climate change.”
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton says she would defend the plan if she was elected to replace Mr Obama.
“It will need defending. Because Republican doubters and defeatists – including every Republican candidate for president – won’t offer any credible solution,” she says. “The truth is, they don’t want one.”
Republican presidential candidate, Marco Rubio, says the plan would be “catastrophic,” while former Florida governor Jeb Bush, says the plan is “irresponsible and over-reaching”.
Correspondents say the emphasis on renewable energy sources marks a significant shift from the earlier version of the plan that sought to speed up a transition from coal-fired power to natural gas plants, which emit less carbon dioxide.
It is believed the revised plan will aim to keep the share of natural gas in U.S. power generation at current levels.
Power stations are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the U.S. and account for about one third of all such U.S. emissions.
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