A year ago, President Obama unveiled a plan that would force power plants to reduce the amount of emissions given off by their facilities. The plan has been met by resistance from utility products, Republic opposition and even some members of the general public. In fact, this summer, a contestant on "America's Got Talent" sang a song about coal that many believed railed against this type of regulation.
With so much criticism and backlash, some pundits speculated that Obama might back down from the proposal, but this week, the administration once again made their commitment to it clear.
Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, announced this week that the EPA will be enforcing guidelines that will require all new natural gas power plants to give off 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt hour or less and all new coal power plants to give off 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour or less. This is a marked reduction, as currently coal power plants average emissions of 1,800 pounds of carbon dioxide.
Although the rule changes will be costly for utilities, the EPA and the Obama Administration argue that it is a necessary step. The administration cites evidence about climate change, stating that regulations must be passed to reduce emissions and reduce our impact on the environment.
The proposed rule change is now entering the 60-day waiting period, during which it will receive comments from industry and the public. We'll keep you updated on what happens next.
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