On Monday, expect the most daring planning for cutting greenhouse gas emissions to be approved by the White House and made public.
In the continuous effort to curb greenhouse gas pollution and leave an environmental presidential legacy that matters, President Obama will formally introduce the retooled Clean Power Plan on Monday.
The new plan targeting coal-burning power plants in every state requires that emissions are drastically cut and new, clean alternative power sources are integrated in the grid, changing the way U.S. citizens receive electricity.
The Clean Power Plan was first introduced one year ago. The silverline of the plan has been maintained, as renewable energy is given precedence over polluting coal-burning power plants. However, the targets are increasingly tougher for these power plants as the need to cut deep into carbon emissions becomes more ardent.
According to officials who were briefed on the matter, pollution emitted by power plants needs to be cut by 32 percent until 2030, compared to pollution levels in 2005. A compensation and reward system has been set in place for states that emphasize wind or solar power in investment plans rather than the expansion of coal-burning power plants.
In a video statement provided for the Washington Post, President Obama commented:
“Power plants are the single biggest source of the harmful carbon pollution that contributes to the climate change. But until now, there have been no federal limits to the amount of that pollution those plants can dump into the air. Think about that”.
Compared to the previous Clean Power Plan, the revised version leaves more room for states to flexibly manage the way greenhouse-gas emissions are cut and targets are met. As one of the biggest concerns of individual states is that the power supply could be drastically disrupted and citizens affected, the revised plan contains a ‘reliability safety valve’ which allows the expansion of the timeframe in which the goals must be met.
It is expected that the new ambitious plan will face legal challenges. Congress is also expected to oppose it fiercely as the Clean Power Plan last year was dubbed a federal overreach and illegal one at that, that only burdens companies and customers financially.
Nonetheless, the first plan to regulate carbon emission is hailed by White House officials familiar with its requirements as:
“the most significant action any U.S. president has taken to curb greenhouse gases. It will form the foundation of the country’s efforts to take on climate change for decades to come”.
As the revised plan is bound for formal introduction on Monday, the Obama administration is holding it as the cornerstone of a major climate initiative. Policy addresses, official visits including a meeting scheduled for September with Pope Francis and the major challenge that is set for the Paris Climate Summit in December are all part of the initiative.
Power plants that rely on coal burning, and the largest polluters in terms of carbon emissions are providing 40 percent of electricity for U.S. citizens. Slowly, coal is being surpassed by solar, wind and a surge in natural gas.
Capitalizing on this trend, the revised Clean Power Plan gains momentum in asking states to accelerate the efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions by shifting from coal-burning power plants to renewable sources of energy.
Photo Credits: theamericanenergynews.com