THE CLEAN – BUT LONG - POWER PLAN

This week the social media world was lit up by the release of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. At over 1,500 pages long, let’s jump straight to the synopsis:

The plan calls for US electric power plants in total to reduce their CO2 emissions 32% below 2005 levels by 2030.  Each State has been given its own targets, based on how offensive their power plants are currently. Each State can decide how exactly it will meet their specific target: switch from coal to natural gas, boost renewables, push commercial and residential energy efficiency programs, enact cap-and-trade systems, whatever works best for their economy.

32% sounds huge, but let’s not forget power plant emissions are already 15% lower than 2005 levels thanks to the recession, improvements in wind technology, increased energy efficiency programs, and falling natural gas costs making coal seem less favorable. This doesn’t mean the plan falls short, but that carbon regulation is needed in other sectors to keep the momentum going – vehicle emissions, industry and agriculture.

If you are interested, this article does the best (most concise) job of describing what the plan entails: http://www.vox.com/2015/8/4/9096903/clean-power-plan-explained

And this article has a great infographic showing the targets per State: http://grist.org/climate-energy/map-stacking-up-the-states-under-the-clean-power-plan/  

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