This week, the Obama Administration issued new rules to address climate change. The ambitious federal plan aims to significantly decrease emissions from a previously untouched sector: power plants. While contributing 1/3 of carbon emissions, power plants have long gone unregulated—until now. The new plans will go into effect in stages over the next 15 years, and culminate with a 32% reduction of carbon emissions by 2030. The plan includes elements of special concern to communities:
- States are empowered to develop individualized plans for meeting their goals. This gives a large amount of discretionary power to state and local governments, allowing them to adapt their plans to best fit the needs and capabilities of their community.
- The EPA gathered input from 4.3 million Americans leading to considerations about equity and fairness, and the creation of an incentive program to help low income communities meet emission targets.
- 365 businesses and corporate leaders have expressed strong support of the new rules—believing that they will open up new economic opportunities in communities across the country.
The new plan shows that when pushed, elected officials will act on climate solutions. This step marks an historic mark in US action on climate change. However, continued diligent action by the public and community leaders is required to keep momentum on climate action moving forward. To learn more about how your community can get involved, visit Path to Positive.
Obama's clean power plan hailed as US's strongest ever climate action
By Adam Vaughn | The Guardian | August 3, 2015
Hundreds of businesses including eBay, Nestlé and General Mills have issued their support for Barack Obama’s clean power plan, billed as the strongest action ever on climate change by a US president.
The rules, announced on Monday, are designed to cut emissions from power plants and have been strengthened in terms of the long-term ambition as originally proposed by the president last year, but slightly weakened in the short-term in a concession to states reliant on highly-polluting coal.
White House adviser Brian Deese said the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules represented the “biggest step that any single president has made to curb the carbon pollution that is fuelling climate change”. The US is the world’s second biggest carbon emitter after China.
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