Obama Declares War on Coal

03 August by Chris Saunby


US President Barack Obama is due to announce the revised Clean Power Plan, which he has called "the biggest, most important step we have ever taken "in tackling climate change".

The objective of the plan is to cut greenhouse gas emissions from US power stations by nearly a third within 15 years, and places much more emphasis on developing wind, solar power and other renewable energy sources.

Opponents of Mr Obama have said that this is tantamount to him declaring “war on coal” and are determined to fight it. 

Power plants account for nearly 40 percent of US carbon dioxide emissions. That's more than every car, truck, and plane in the US combined.

The revised plan will aim to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 32% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.

The BBC reports that although this will give the president “the moral authority he needs to argue for global reductions in greenhouse gases at a major conference in Paris later this year” …. “However, several state governors are already saying they will simply ignore the plans”.

In face of the criticism, the White House said the release of the plan was "the starting gun for an all-out climate push" by the president and his cabinet.

Hilary Clinton has also committed to back the plans if she is elected to replace Mr Obama; "It will need defending. Because Republican doubters and defeatists - including every Republican candidate for president - won't offer any credible solution," she said.

"The truth is, they don't want one."

One Republican presidential candidate, Marco Rubio, said the plan would be "catastrophic," while another, former Florida governor Jeb Bush, said the plan was "irresponsible and over-reaching".

Power stations are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the US and account for about one third of all such US emissions.

The emphasis on renewable energy sources marks a significant shift from the earlier version of the plan.

source BBC