It's a big “Yes!” for the environment, clean energy and, well, everyone who will hopefully soon be able to breath easier. Yesterday morning (June 2) the Environmental Protection Agency announced sweeping new plans designed to reduce the amount of air pollution spewing from that nation’s roughly 600 coal-fired power plants and other fossil-fuel based power plants, which currently produce roughly 40 percent on the U.S.’s carbon pollution. The rules would reduce U.S. carbon pollution to 30 percent of what it was in 2005 by 2030.
The proposed rules are considered another of President Barrack Obama’s (D) likely legacy achievements and part of his Climate Action Plan. The New York Times’ Coral Davenport wrote: “The regulation is likely to stand as President Obama’s last chance to substantially shape domestic policy and as a defining element of his legacy.” She added, “The president, who failed to push a sweeping climate change bill through Congress in his first term, is now acting on his own by using his executive authority under the 1970 Clean Air Act to issue the regulation.”
The news, though expected, was hailed by environmentalists and clean energy advocates. “This Congress has failed in its most basic responsibility to protect the health and welfare of the American people from this grave threat,” said NextGen Climate Founder Tom Steyer. “Fortunately, a previous Congress had the wisdom and foresight to pass the Clean Air Act, giving the Environmental Protection Agency the responsibility to curb pollution that endangers the public. President Obama and Administrator McCarthy today exercised that authority appropriately, thoughtfully and boldly.”
“At their very heart, the proposed new EPA regulations provide a common sense and flexible approach to reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions across the United States,” said Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) President Rhone Resch. “They also can serve as a roadmap for future renewable energy policy in America.”
The proposed rules are already seeing some opposition—not unexpectedly—from from conservatives and the entrenched energy industry. The Texas Public Policy Foundation, for instance charged that the policy will cost between $8.8 billion to $50 billion annually. But the EPA countered that higher energy efficiency equipment will result in lowered electric prices and between $55 billion and $93 billion in economic benefits.
Obama has already done much to curb pollution and increase clean energy production like solar and wind with American Recovery Act, increasing the military’s use of solar and wind and more, but if these rules are accepted this could do the most to reduce the U.S.’s use of dirty energy and transition it more efficient use of electricity and energy and clean energy.Tweet