The Obama Administration has announced new rules for power plants which operate using coal. The new rules are aimed at bringing down the emission levels by 30% by the year 2030. For the first time ever, a set of proposed policies have addressed carbon emissions. Indeed, President Obama is trying to make efforts to address the climatic changes, but whether they will be successful or not is yet to be seen.
Named as the Clean Power Plan, it was the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA that announced them to the country. In a press statement, the agency said that a reliable and affordable energy system will be maintained that will cut pollution, protecting both the environment and ultimately, our health as a result. The agency also claimed that the plan will raise benefits worth $82 billion by 2030.
The industry experts believe that the plan will raise electricity prices and reduce employment opportunities. In light of this, the Obama Administration said that these fears are hyped up and the new rules are only aimed at ensuring public safety. The critics also state that there will be legal challenges, but the EPA is hopeful to overcome all of them.
Obama Administration has given the public a time period of about 120 days to give their feedback on the new rules. After this, the EPA will take about a year to finalize the rules. Once this happens, the states will be given 36 months to submit their implementation plans.
The EPA has predicted that by the year 2030, 30% of energy will be produced by coal and 20% from natural gas. Right now, coal is responsible for producing 37% energy.
The EPA plans to achieve their goals by giving every state targets of their own. These will be based on several factors such as their energy resources and levels of emissions in the past. The states will then have to formulate a compliance plan, which will highlight all possible measures for achieving the target. Examples of these include purchase/sale of pollution permits, increasing sources of renewable energy, implementing stricter efficiency standards and the like.
If any state is already taking steps to reduce emissions, they will be given extra credit for it.
The administrator of EPA told the public that collaboration is the only way to reduce carbon pollution, and still ascertaining that energy remains affordable.