Skip to Content

President Obama To Unveil Tough Proposal Targeting Greenhouse Gases

· Aug. 2, 2015, 1:47 pm

Calling it the "biggest, most important step we've ever taken to combat climate change," President Obama said his administration would unveil the final version of a proposal aimed at curbing the amount of carbon pollution put out by power plants.

Related CPR News coverage:

CPR's Grace Hood reports that Colorado is already on a path to reduce emissions. That’s because a 2010 law prompted some energy companies to transition older coal-fired power plants to cleaner sources of energy.

NPR's Scott Horsley reports that the new regulations are actually tougher than the ones unveiled by the Environmental Protection Agency in a draft proposal in June of 2014.

Two big numbers: The regulations require that power plants cut carbon emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. That number was 30 percent in the draft proposal. The rules also demand that 28 percent of a power plant's generating capacity come from renewable sources such as wind and solar. That number was 22 percent in the proposed rule.

As Scott puts it, these new regulations, which the White House calls America's Clean Power Plan, is the centerpiece of the Obama administration's plan to combat climate change.

"The administration has been pushing other big countries — China, India, Brazil — to take similarly aggressive action in advance of an international summit in Paris later this year," Scott reports.

Of course, this new regulation is already controversial and likely faces a drawn-out legal battle.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican from Kentucky, wrote an op-ed back in March calling on states to "hold back on the costly process of complying."

"States report that the regulation's mandates are not technologically achievable, cannot be implemented under rushed timelines and threaten both state economies and energy reliability for families," McConnell wrote.

In a video released overnight by the White House, President Obama says climate change is an urgent matter. Power plants, he said, are the single biggest source of carbon pollution.

"Climate change is not a problem for another generation," he says. "Not anymore."

He concludes: "Remind everyone who represents you that protecting the world we leave to our children is a prerequisite for your vote. Join us. We can do this. It's time for America and the world to act on climate change."

The final rules do move back the date by which states must start complying with the regulations from 2020 to 2022.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

You care.

You want to know what is really going on these days, especially in Colorado. We can help you keep up.  The Lookout is a free, daily email newsletter with news and happenings from all over Colorado. Sign up here and we will see you in the morning!

Listen to a Colorado Postcard

Colorado Postcards

Colorado Postcards are snapshots of our colorful state in sound. They give brief insights into our people and places, our flora and fauna, and our past and present, from every corner of Colorado. Listen now.


Upcoming Events

Join us for this upcoming event!

Sign Up For Our Newsletters

It takes a good day’s drive to cover Colorado, but we’ll help you do it in a few minutes. Our newsletters bring you a closer look at the stories that affect you and the music that inspires you.