Known as the Clean Power Plan, President Obama recently announced the “biggest, most important step we have ever taken” against climate change. The plan aims to eradicate nearly ⅓ of greenhouse gas emissions (compared with 2005 levels) from U.S. power stations within a 15-year time-frame, placing the emphasis much more on the creation of wind and solar energy, as well as other renewables. Clearly, the plan already has many opponents, with those from the energy industry calling it “a war on coal” – coal-powered plants produce over a ⅓ of electricity in the U.S.
Obama likened the environmental impact of the plan as equivalent to taking 166 million cars off state roads. Insisting he would invest in the areas affected (known as “coal country,” eg. Wyoming, Kentucky and West Virginia), some state governors have simply said they will ignore the plans. Many Republicans have called the Clean Power Plan, which will clearly end in severe U.S. job losses, “catastrophic,” “over-reaching” and “irresponsible,” with consumers, particularly in rural areas, fearing massive hikes in energy bills.
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