White House set to adopt sweeping curbs on carbon pollution

The Washington Post reports: The Obama administration will formally adopt an ambitious regulation for cutting greenhouse-gas pollution on Monday, requiring every state to reduce emissions from coal-burning power plants and putting the country on a course that could change the way millions of Americans get their electricity.

A retooled version of the administration’s Clean Power Plan, first proposed a year ago, will seek to accelerate the shift to renewable energy while setting tougher goals for slashing carbon emissions blamed for global warming, according to administration officials briefed on the details.

The new plan sets a goal of cutting carbon pollution from power plants by 32 percent by the year 2030, compared with 2005 levels — a 9 percent jump from the previous target of 30 percent — while rewarding states and utility companies that move quickly to expand their investment in solar and wind power. [Continue reading…]

The Washington Post also reports: The reason for the focus on coal is that it remains the largest U.S. producer of greenhouse gases at a time when President Obama is striving for an agreement at the December climate summit in Paris. In March, the United States submitted its own goal to the United Nations, vowing to reduce by 2025 U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions by 26 percent to 28 percent below 2005 levels. Trimming coal emissions must be a part of that.

The president has been leaning on other world leaders one by one — from China, India, Brazil and more — to make commitments to slash emissions. China pledged to a peak year for emissions; India came up with daunting renewable-energy targets; and Brazil said it would protect rain forests that absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide.

But while the president has made inroads abroad, he has had to fight a rear-guard action at home, where Republicans, led by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), have accused him of waging a “war on coal” — and the jobs that go with it. [Continue reading…]

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