December 20, 2014 10:22 UTC

As It Is

Obama Proposes Limits on Power Plant Pollution

The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years.
The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years.
Obama Proposes Limits on Power Plant Pollution
Obama Proposes Limits on Power Plant Pollutioni
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X


The Obama administration has proposed stronger rules to limit pollution from American power stations.  The proposed rules would affect production of carbon dioxide and other gases linked to rising temperatures worldwide.  The administration says the measures will help protect the nation’s health.  And it says they will put the United States in a stronger leadership position to fight climate change.  

 

President Barack Obama announced the proposed pollution rules early last week. 

“Today about 40 percent of America’s carbon pollution comes from power plants.  But right now there are no national limits to the amount of carbon pollution that existing plants can pump into the air we breathe.  None.”

 

The new Clean Power Plan is aimed at the more than 600 coal-fired power plants across the United States.  These power centers are the single largest producer of carbon pollution in the country.  

 

Gina McCarthy is head of the Environmental Protection Agency.  She said it is a moral duty to act for the good of public health.

 

“When we do, we’ll turn risks of climate into business opportunity.  We will spur innovation and investment, and we’ll build a world-leading clean energy economy.”

 

The plan would require a 30 percent reduction in climate-changing emissions from 2005 levels by the year 2030.  Ms. McCarthy says flexibility is built into how states enforce the rule.

 

“Each state is different, so each goal and each path can be different.”

 

The proposal offers a number of choices.  Kevin Kennedy directs the U.S. Climate Initiative for the World Resources Institute.

 

“The flexibility that she is talking about (is) the ability to look at the entire electricity system, so that you can look at energy efficiency.  You can look at renewables.  You can look at switching fuels from coal to natural gas, making more use of existing natural gas plants that have been sitting relatively idle for the last decade.”

 

Coal plants produce nearly one-third of the U.S. electric supply.  Jeff Holmstead formerly worked for the Environmental Protection Agency.  Now he represents the coal industry for the law office of Bracewell & Giuliani.  He says the new rule could force some plants to close.  And he warns that higher electric rates could push industrial operations overseas.

 

“And to some extent, we’re seeing that happen already in Europe, where Europe has had almost no investment from heavy industry and heavy industries that formerly were in Europe are moving to China or India and in some cases even in the United States, because power prices here today are significantly lower than they are in Europe.”

 

Jeff Holmstead says the administration is wrong to propose a measure that critics say does little to solve the climate change problem.  He suggests that investing in a technological fix would be a better way to deal with the issue.

 

“And until we can figure out a way to allow countries around the world to have the benefits that we enjoy from reliable affordable power, without coal, it is not going to make any different at all to impose expensive requirements in the United States.”  

 

Kevin Kennedy agrees that rules alone are not enough.  He says the plan is an important sign to other countries that the United States is taking the lead in the battle against climate change.

 

“That makes it much more likely that you will be able to get a strong international agreement next year, where you would expect to see China and India and other countries coming to the table, more willing to think about reductions on their own.”

 

The administration has announced a one-year period for comments on the proposals.  After that, the rules will be finalized.  The coal power industry is expected to fight the measure.  United Nations negotiators hope to have a new climate change treaty in place by 2015.  

 

 

Question image

Obama Proposes Limits on Power Plant Pollution

Test your vocabulary and comprehension.

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Maria from: Smolensk, Russia
06/12/2014 7:25 PM
Recently the American President Barack Obama determinated the new proposal for America power stations. The authorities propose falling the emissions from power stations. The administration accuse the power stations of polluting the air and climate change worldwide. According to this plan the plants what pollute with toxic chemicals the environment should drop climate-changing emissions by two thousand and thirty year. The new proposal would affect six hundred coal-fired power stations across the United States of America. The officials argue with each other about effectiveness of taking such measure.
The head of the Environmental Protection Agency believes this proposal to have strong effect on the public health and help to develop a world-leading clean energy economy. Furthermore, she suggests the approach to this problem to need to be more flexible. Similarly, according to the Jeff Holmstead* s opinion who works for the coal industry the officials*s agreement need to be more careful with power plants so this plan could force these plants to close. He assumes the higher electric rates to enforce the leading manufacturers to move the production overseas. Moreover, he maintains such law to not solve the climate change problem. He guesses the investments in a technological fix to be a better way to solve this issue. Kelvin Kennedy suggests the best way to solve this problem to get a strong international laws against polluters.
The environmental issue is that the significant increase in pollution could affect the health of the futher generations. And people must be responsible for saving our nature.


by: mustafa from: Kenya
06/10/2014 4:04 PM
a clean environment is suitable for a life in ahuman being also animals.,so it is adue to of every organism to take. the responsibility of his/her environment in a way of better place.


by: Afiq from: Indonesia
06/10/2014 9:53 AM
The propose rule to limit pollution is a good innovation. US has many natural shale gas well. So, it support switching from coal consumption to natural gas consumption for power plan


by: Kashif Lodhi from: Pakistan
06/10/2014 7:36 AM
It is the duty of every person in society to move forward in order to limits pollution .thank you

Learn with The News

  • US Cuba

    Audio Obama Moves to Normalize Relations with Cuba

    President Barack Obama announced a major change in United States’ policy toward Cuba this week. He said he wants Congress to ease more than 50 years of U.S. sanctions against the island nation. And he said the two nations should once again formally recognize one another. More

  • Santa Claus waves at the crowd during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, Nov. 27, 2014.

    Video A Los Angeles Christmas

    The end of December is a time when many Americans are thinking about snow and cold weather. Yet the city of Los Angeles, California is almost always warm and sunny, even during the winter holiday season. Many people like all the holiday decorations and lights seen in and around Los Angeles. More

  • FILE - A man casts a fishing net on the Mekong riverbank in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

    Audio Disagreement Over Mekong River Dam Project

    A two-day meeting in Laos has left government officials and environmental activists deeply divided. The meeting was called to examine plans for a 260 megawatt dam on the Lower Mekong River. The Lao government is prepared to start work on the project. More

  • Mideast Islamic State US

    Audio Top Islamic State Leaders Killed in Airstrikes

    Three top Islamic State leaders were killed in a series of targeted airstrikes in Iraq. U.S. not ruling out White House visit by Cuban President Raul Castro. Suspected Boko Haram gunmen kidnap over 100 women, children. Putin says Russia’s economy will improve in two years. More

  • the interview

    Video Sony Criticized for Cancelling 'The Interview'

    The company acted after a group of computer hackers attacked the company and threatened to attack movie theaters that show the film. Most people have criticized Sony’s decision to cancel the release. The US says North Korea was behind the cyber attack. North Korea denies the accusation. More

Featured Stories

  • Video Music Shows in Private Homes Gain Popularity

    Attending a live musical performance, be it in a huge arena or a small cafe, is an exciting experience. But here in the U.S., a very different kind of performance is gaining popularity: house concerts. “There's just a totally unique experience as opposed to playing like a coffee shop or a bar." More

  • Lee Surrenders to Grant at Appomatox

    Audio Southern General Robert E. Lee Surrenders at Appomattox

    General Robert E. Lee’s military skill and intelligence helped extend the war between the states. But even his skill could not save the South from the industrial power of the North and its mighty armies -- armies that were better-fed and better-equipped. On Sunday, August 9, Lee surrendered. More

  • Uganda Playground for Disabled Children

    Audio Helping Uganda’s Disabled Children Play

    You may think that all children have freedom to play. But for children who look differently from others or have physical disabilities, the idea of play can seem far away. An organization in Uganda is seeking to change that. Read on to learn words needed to talk about this sometimes difficult topic. More

  • A microneedle used to inject glaucoma medications into the eye is shown next to a liquid drop from a conventional eye dropper. (Georgia Tech Photo: Gary Meek

    Audio Tiny Needles Treat Eye Disease

    Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness around the world. In the United States, more than two million people suffer from the disease. Now, researchers are developing very small needles that may offer a more effective and painless treatment for glaucoma and other eye diseases. More

  • The National Museum of Organized Crime and Law Enforcement in Las Vegas

    Audio Mob Museum Tells About the Mafia in America

    The U.S. government has long used public money to fight organized crime. Now, public money is also paying for a museum in Las Vegas to tell about "The Mob,” and not everyone is happy about that. But some say it helps the local economy by bringing people to a part of Las Vegas that few visit. More

Practice Your Writing

Confessions of an English Learner BlogConfessions of an English Learner Blog

Tell us About Our Programs