US President Barack Obama unveiled his administration’s controversial, ramped-up plan to cut carbon emissions from US power plants, challenging Americans and the rest of the world to do more to fight global warming.
Declaring climate change the greatest threat facing the world, Obama said Monday the regulation requiring the power industry to cut its emissions 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 would reduce Americans’ energy bills and improve the health of vulnerable populations nationwide, Reuters reported.
The Clean Power Plan, which also mandates a shift to renewable energy from coal-fired electricity, is meant to put the United States in a strong position at international talks in Paris later this year on reaching a deal to curb global warming.
Obama is enacting the plan by executive order, bypassing Congress, which rejected legislative attempts to reduce pollution from carbon dioxide, a common greenhouse gas blamed by scientists for heating the earth.
The regulations face certain legal challenges from states and industries.
“We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change. We’re the last generation that can do something about it,” Obama told a sympathetic audience at the White House.
“We only get one home. We only get one planet. There’s no Plan B.”
Republicans condemned the plan, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell saying the new rules would shutter power plants and drive up electricity costs.
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