The Obama administration’s new climate change rule spans 645 pages, providing a detailed roadmap to states for cutting emissions.
The Environmental Protection Agency released the proposed rule on Monday, beginning the fight to establish what would be the first standards for greenhouse gas emissions at existing coal-fired power plants. [READ THE RULE]
The EPA is calling on power plants to cut their carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2030 and is offering states flexibility in how they reach that goal.
The proposal has triggered an election-year backlash, with industry groups, Republicans and some coal-state Democrats charging that Obama is waging a “war on coal” with rules that would raise electricity costs and make it nearly impossible to build new coal-fired plants in the United States.
The EPA on Monday conceded that some power plants are likely to close because of the rule, but said the benefits would outweigh the costs.
"Today, climate change — fueled by carbon pollution-supercharges risks not just to our health — but to our communities, our economy and our way of life," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthyGina McCarthyEPA finalizes rule cutting use of potent greenhouse gas used in refrigeration Interior announces expansion of hunting and fishing rights across 2.1 million acres Time to rethink Biden's anti-American energy policies MORE.
Environmentalists say the rule would help clean up the air and are cheering President Obama on, as he makes climate change a focal point of his second term.
Both supporters and opponents of the rule had been eagerly awaiting the release of the regulatory text to see how restrictive the standards for existing plants would be.
The public will have 120 days to comment on the first version of the rules. After that, the EPA will read through the comments and is likely move forward with a final version.