Today, August 3rd, 2015, President Obama unveiled the White House’s Clean Power Plan. The focus of the new legislation targets America’s carbon-emitting power plants. The goal of the Clean Power Plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% in the commercial sector within fifteen years. Proponents of the bill and opponents alike agree on one thing: the Clean Power Plan is aggressive. Experts from the Pentagon agree that a rapidly changing climate endangers our national security and threatens our economic elasticity. A warmer climate increases the risk of drought and the cost of food production. These factors affect our ability to rebound from economic downturns.
Many people know that this year is currently the hottest year on record, but having one warm year isn’t anything more than an anomaly and can occur in a healthy climate. In order to prove a warming trend we have to look further back. If we take the last fifteen years looking back to the year 2000, a clear picture begins to form. Fourteen of the world’s hottest years on record have taken place in the last fifteen years.
It’s time to take action to stop this warming trend and get our planet back to normalized levels. The Clean Power Plan might just have the regulatory muscle to do it. The revised plan will aim to cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 32% by 2030, compared with 2005 levels.
“We are the first generation to feel the impacts of climate change, and the last generation to be able to do something about it,” President Obama said. He likened the plan to taking 166 million cars off the road in terms of environmental impact. He called taking a stand against climate change a “moral obligation”.
President Obama brushed off the notion that the plan is a “War on Coal” that will kill jobs and said he is reinvesting in areas of the U.S. known as “coal country”.
“Scaremonging” tactics will not work to stop the proposal, he said.
“If we don’t do it nobody will. America leads the way forward… that’s what this plan is about. This is our moment to get something right and get something right for our kids.”
Many analysts believe that we may see similar legislation in the near future affecting residential power consumption. Currently the Clean Power Plan focuses on the commercial creation of electricity which accounts for most of the carbon emissions in the U.S.
We believe that solar energy is the logical and promising path for the U.S. to take into a greener and brighter future. Finally, there will be restrictions on the commercial sector, not only relating to how much carbon can be produced, but also influencing how much solar or renewable energy should be used to produce our electricity.
If you want to read the actual legislation you can find it here on the EPA’s website.