New EPA Rules Proposed for Climate Change
The White House plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030. Each state will have its own goal within the overall national pollution reduction effort, an attempt to be politically and practically flexible in its implementation. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy explains, “Each state’s goal is tailored to its own circumstances, and states have the flexibility to reach the goal in whatever ways work best for them.”
States can renovate existing coal-fired plants with newer, cleaner burning technology; switch coal plants to natural gas, which produces much less carbon; and work to persuade residents to be more efficient in their use of electricity. States can also band together in cap-and-trade networks for emission reductions, in which companies buy and sell permits allowing them to produce a certain amount of carbon emissions. Clean producers can be sellers, dirtier producers buyers.
The program represents an absolute reduction in U.S. carbon emissions of nearly one-third, rather than a simple slowing in the growth rate of emissions. Contrary industry groups, many Republicans and some coal-state Democrats oppose the proposal due to its anticipated costs and increased regulations.