The US’ President Obama is planning to take the country’s strongest ever action on climate change by announcing a goal to reduce the country’s carbon emissions from power plants 30% by 2030. The nation’s power plants, which are comprised of over 600 coal-fired plants, are the country’s largest source of pollution. The new plans to cut emissions are likely to put hundreds of existing coal plants out-of-business and it is probable that the way American electricity is generated will be completely overhauled in time. Obama failed in his first term to push a sweeping climate bill through Congress, but this time he is using his executive powers to enact this legislation. The new rules would give states a range of options in how to meet the 30% cut, and are designed to let them reorient their local industries in a cost-effective manner without necessarily having to close coal-fired plants. The plans have sparked mixed reactions, with environmentalists lauding the strong message and carbon industry advocates saying it would damage the electricity industry and continuity of supply. The US Chamber of Commerce said it could lower US GDP by $50 bn per year.
FINSUM: This is a major overhaul to the US power generation system and it sends a strong message to the rest of the world that even one of the worst polluters is set to clean up its act. Hopefully, others will follow suit.