The Obama administration has a goal of reducing carbon emissions 17% nationwide by 2020. Now, the president is taking sweeping action - without the input or assistance of Congress - to realize that goal.
The president is empowered under the Clean Air Act to call for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through the EPA, and that's exactly what Obama is doing.
According to the LA Times:
Cutting carbon dioxide from power plants involves enormous stakes. Power generation accounts for roughly 40% of U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions. But while seeking to reduce pollution, the administration must ensure that electricity supply remains reliable and consumer rates reasonable.
Ashlie Kuehn, general counsel for Prairie State, the nation's largest coal plant, said uncertainty about the specifics of the reductions - which may be as high as 20% per year - have big coal on edge even though the EPA consulted with them:
Do we install solar panels in our parking lot? Plant trees? Do we partner with a renewables company? I'm confident EPA heard our concerns. But we're on pins and needles.
Much remains unknown, but one thing is certain: if the cuts to carbon emissions being proposed by the EPA fail or cause a noticeable spike in electricity costs, the blame is likely to fall squarely on president Obama.
Via The LA Times