UPDATE- President Obama has announced his plan, giving more details on the specifics. By 2030, the plan will save the average American family $85/year on energy bills; it will save enough energy to power 30 million homes and will save consumers $155 billion. The plan also protects the health of American families. In 2030 it will prevent up to 3,600 premature deaths, 1,700 non-fatal heart attacks, 90,000 asthma attacks in children, and 300,000 missed workdays and schooldays. Check out the president’s remarks HERE!
At 7:15 PM UTC (2:15 PM EST) on Monday, President Barack Obama will announce a far-reaching plan that aims to combat climate change. The “Clean Power Plan” is the final version of regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency. In a White House video released on Saturday night, President Obama called it “the biggest, most important step we’ve ever taken to combat climate change.” The plan is aimed at the electricity sector, which generates 31% of U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions – the largest single slice of any sector.
Under the plan, the administration requires states to meet specific carbon emission reduction standards, based on individual levels of energy consumption. The plan does not dictate what technology must be used, but rather provides the flexibility for states to develop plans which most efficiently meet carbon emission reductions. In fact, there has been an extensive study of each state to determine how much each carbon emissions are possible, and the plan is carefully tailored to each states abilities and needs. The U.S. power sector must cut carbon emissions by 32% from 2005 levels by 2030, an increase from the 30% target originally projected.
Gina McCarthy, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said the plan will yield $34bn-$54bn in benefits by 2030, including fewer premature deaths and illnesses, and will create up to 28,000 jobs and cheaper electricity bills for households thanks to energy efficiency improvements. Obama will speak at the National Clean Energy Summit in Nevada on August 24, and in the following week will be the first sitting president to visit the Alaskan Arctic.