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Obama: Power plant rule will reduce power prices

  • The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, in a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. (AP Photo/John Amis)

    The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, in a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. (AP Photo/John Amis)

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy signs new emission guidelines during an announcement of a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, Monday, June 2, 2014, at EPA headquarters in Washington. In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, but pushes the deadline for some states to comply until long after President Barack Obama leaves office. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy signs new emission guidelines during an announcement of a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, Monday, June 2, 2014, at EPA headquarters in Washington. In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, but pushes the deadline for some states to comply until long after President Barack Obama leaves office. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, in a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. (AP Photo/John Amis)

    The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, in a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. (AP Photo/John Amis)

  • A hill of coal is seen at the North Omaha Station, a coal-burning power station, in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 2, 2014. The Obama administration on Monday unveiled a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, setting in motion one of the most significant actions to address global warming in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

    A hill of coal is seen at the North Omaha Station, a coal-burning power station, in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 2, 2014. The Obama administration on Monday unveiled a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, setting in motion one of the most significant actions to address global warming in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy gestures during an announcement of a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, Monday, June 2, 2014, at EPA headquarters in Washington. In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, but pushes the deadline for some states to comply until long after President Barack Obama leaves office. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

    Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy gestures during an announcement of a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, Monday, June 2, 2014, at EPA headquarters in Washington. In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, but pushes the deadline for some states to comply until long after President Barack Obama leaves office. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

  • FILE - In this July 1, 2013, file photo smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont. The Obama administration on Monday, June 2, 2014, will roll out a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, setting in motion one of the most significant actions to address global warming in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

    FILE - In this July 1, 2013, file photo smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont. The Obama administration on Monday, June 2, 2014, will roll out a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, setting in motion one of the most significant actions to address global warming in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

  • The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, in a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. (AP Photo/John Amis)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy signs new emission guidelines during an announcement of a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, Monday, June 2, 2014, at EPA headquarters in Washington. In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, but pushes the deadline for some states to comply until long after President Barack Obama leaves office. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
  • The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, in a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. (AP Photo/John Amis)
  • A hill of coal is seen at the North Omaha Station, a coal-burning power station, in Omaha, Neb., Monday, June 2, 2014. The Obama administration on Monday unveiled a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, setting in motion one of the most significant actions to address global warming in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy gestures during an announcement of a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, Monday, June 2, 2014, at EPA headquarters in Washington. In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, but pushes the deadline for some states to comply until long after President Barack Obama leaves office. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
  • FILE - In this July 1, 2013, file photo smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont. The Obama administration on Monday, June 2, 2014, will roll out a plan to cut earth-warming pollution from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, setting in motion one of the most significant actions to address global warming in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Matthew Brown, File)

In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan yesterday aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third by 2030. But it delays the deadline for some states to begin complying until long after President Obama leaves office.

The 645-page plan, expected to be finalized next year, is a centerpiece of Obama’s efforts to deal with climate change and seeks to give the United States more leverage to prod other countries to act when negotiations on a new international treaty resume next year. Under the plan, carbon emissions are to be reduced 30 percent from 2005 levels, in what would amount to one of the most significant U.S. actions on global warming.

Obama, in a conference call hosted by the American Lung Association, said the plan would both shrink electricity prices and protect the health of vulnerable Americans. He scolded critics who he predicted would contend anew that the limits would crush jobs and damage the economy.

“What we’ve seen every time is that these claims are debunked when you actually give workers and businesses the tools and the incentives they need to innovate,” Obama said.

The proposal sets off a complex regulatory process, steeped in politics, in which the 50 states will each determine how to meet customized targets set by the Environmental Protection Agency, then submit those plans for approval.

“This is not just about disappearing polar bears or melting ice caps,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “This is about protecting our health and our homes. This is about protecting local economies and jobs.”

Some states will be allowed to emit more pollutants and others less, leading to an overall, nationwide reduction of 30 percent.

Many states that rely heavily on coal will be spared from cutting a full 30 percent. West Virginia, for example, must reduce the pollution it puts out per amount of power by 19 percent compared with the rate in 2012. Ohio’s target is 28 percent less, while Kentucky and Wyoming will have to find ways to make 18 percent and 19 percent cuts in their electricity generation’s efficiency.

On the other extreme, New York has a 44 percent target, EPA figures show. But New York already has joined with other Northeast states to curb carbon dioxide from power plants, reducing the baseline figure from which cuts must be made. States like New York can get credit for actions they’ve already taken, lest they be punished for taking early action.

Initially, Obama wanted each state to submit its plan by June 2016. But the draft proposal shows states could have until 2017 – and 2018, if they join with other states.

That means even if the rules survive legal and other challenges, the dust won’t likely settle on this transformation until well into the next administration, raising the possibility that political dynamics in either Congress or the White House could alter the rule’s course.

Although Obama doesn’t need a vote in Congress to approve his plans, lawmakers in both the House and Senate have already vowed to try to block them – including Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall, who faces a difficult re-election this year in coal-dependent West Virginia. Scuttling the rules could be easier if Republicans take the Senate in November and then the White House in 2016.

Another potential flash point: The plan relies heavily on governors agreeing to develop plans to meet the federal standard. If Republican governors refuse to go along, as was the case with Obama’s expansion of Medicaid, the EPA can create its own plan for a state. But the specifics of how the EPA could force a state to comply with that plan remain murky.

S. William Becker, who heads the National Association of Clean Air Agencies, said it was good that the rule will give states more time to develop strategies and will grant credit for previous steps to cut emissions.

“Still, the regulatory and resource challenges that lie ahead are daunting,” Becker said.

Power plants are the largest U.S. source of greenhouse gases, accounting for about a third of the annual emissions. EPA data show power plants have already reduced carbon dioxide emissions by nearly 13 percent since 2005, meaning they are about halfway to meeting the administration’s goal.

The EPA projected that carrying out the plan will cost up to $8.8 billion annually in 2030, but the actual costs will depend heavily on how states choose to reach their targets. The administration argued that any costs to comply are far outweighed by savings in health expenses that the U.S. will realize thanks to reductions in other pollutants such as soot and smog that will accompany a shift away from dirtier fuels.

Environmental groups hailed the proposal, praising both the climate effects and the public health benefits they said would follow. Former vice president Al Gore, a prominent environmental advocate, called it “the most important step taken to combat the climate crisis in our country’s history.”

But energy advocates sounded alarms, warning of economic drag. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, called the proposal “a dagger in the heart of the American middle class.”

“If these rules are allowed to go into effect, the administration for all intents and purposes is creating America’s next energy crisis,” said Mike Duncan of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, which represents the coal industry.

Options for states to meet the targets include making power plants more efficient, reducing the frequency at which coal-fired power plants supply power to the grid, and investing in more renewable, low-carbon sources of energy. States could also enhance programs aimed at reducing demand by making households and businesses more energy efficient. Each of those categories will have a separate target.

Coal once supplied about half the nation’s electricity, but has dropped to 40 percent amid a boom in natural gas and renewable sources such as wind and solar. Although the new emissions cuts will further diminish coal’s role, the EPA predicted that it would remain a leading source of electricity in the U.S., providing more than 30 percent of the projected supply.

Obama has already tackled the emissions from the nation’s cars and trucks, announcing rules to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by doubling fuel economy. That standard will reduce carbon dioxide by more than 2 billion tons over the lives of vehicles made in model years 2012-25.

Related

N.H. hopes participation in RGGI alone will meet new EPA regulations

Monday, June 2, 2014

State officials are hopeful that New Hampshire’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative will help fulfill the newly proposed carbon emission reductions laid out by the Environmental Protection Agency yesterday. “That is our hope and assumption, that simply by participating in RGGI we will be meeting the federal requirement,” said Mike Fitzgerald of the state’s Department of Environmental Services, …

Legacy Comments9

Cross O'bummer with Al Gore and what do you get? Karl Marx. Unfortunately, for us, Groucho Marx would do a better job and have more credibility.

He also was able to make a funnier crack than you.

What planet do you live on? Not this one, evidently. And the same goes for the dynamic duo of Carpers below. It's strange indeed that efforts to deal with real world problems--healthcare and global warming --are greeted with hysteria and conspiratorial nonsense. The more serious the problem, the greater the degree of unreason and resistance to real world solutions--the ACA is declared worse than slavery, war, or the Holocaust, and the same is said of efforts to deal with climate change. Both engender lies, name-calling, and outrageous claims so far removed from reality as to border on the pathological.

"name calling", I guess that "Carpers" is not name calling. Hypocrisy once again.

I have some hysteria for you Bruce: 43 million uninsured. Ask a Dem who those 43 million are. Folks with no ID. Where are they, why has the media not paraded them out, so those folks with no ID can explain to us how they manage to get through life with no ID. War On Women. Poster child is a coed at an expensive college who wants taxpayers to pay for her BC .Guess she never heard of Planned Parenthood or the cost of BC Pills at Walmart. Minimum Wage. Ask a Dem the numbers of who actually works for minimum wage. They will change the subject. VA starved for funds. Ask them about the budgets since 9/11 in regards to how much has been spent on the VA. Hate Rhetoric, who uses race to shut down speech? Who hates business and the wealthy? Who calls the opposing party, racists, evil and heartless? Climate change- Supported by those who depend on govt grants, or folks like Gore who get rich spreading lies. If this President lies, he is taken out of context. That is the new word for defending lies. Hysteria about everything from the left. No debate, no actual stats, just myths to push their agenda.

These are modest goals but represent a good start, one that we can point to as we encourage other nations to follow our lead. As this poll indicates, most Americans want to see us move on this issue, even if it does raise costs. "Most Americans support limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and would still support reductions even if it cost them $20 a month, according to a new national poll. A Washington Post-ABC poll released Monday found that 70 percent of Americans support federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Seventy percent also said that the federal government should 'require states to limit the amount of greenhouse gases produced within their borders.'" http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/02/americans-support-limiting-emissions_n_5433775.html But none of this will stop the usual suspects from claiming otherwise and spouting all kinds of nonsense.

These are extreme goals and represent a poor start, one in which other nations will not follow our lead and hamstring their economies. Most Americans do not believe in the global warming hysteria and $20 per month to most Americans is alot of money in this Obama economy. This move will cause job losses for thousands of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers, railroad workers and many other workers and have little or no impact of greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Currie now quotes a poll but when the polls show that the same % of Americans are against Obamacare those polls are dismissed so why should we listen to his indoctrinated opinion now? I will plead guilty to being one of the"usual suspects" aka "carp per diem brigade" as opposed of course to the "harp per minutus" brigads.

How come every time the Obama admin says I'm going to pay less, I pay more? First it was that $2500 savings per year I got from Obamacare...now this.

Because they lie, their followers don't care so long as the ends are what they want. They practice ends justifying the means.

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