President Barack Obama announced the final version of the Clean Power Plan on Sunday morning. The plan is projected to cost $8.4 billion and will most likely face some legal hurdles from various coal producers and states.
In June, the President announced the proposal, which initially stated there would be less carbon pollution cuts done with less renewable energy and more natural gas. In the final version, there will also be an aim to reduce the levels by 32 percent by the year 2030. It encourages states to use more wind, solar, and natural gas and to minimize coal.
Administrators say the Clean Energy Incentive Program will aid in the quick push of the development of renewable energy. In the earlier proposal, the renewable energy capacity was supposed to be at 22 percent by the year 2030 — this has increased to 28 percent in the final version.
“It’s time for America, and the world, to act on climate change,” said President Barack Obama on the video on the White House Twitter feed.
In encouraging states to take strides towards fulfilling the plan, they are allowed to meet the requirements in various ways. It will also give states credit for any solar or wind projects that take off before the rule is implemented in the year 2022. By the year 2030, each state has to meet emission reduction levels according to their own combination of energy.
A large source of pollution in the United States is caused by the burning of coal, which generates an estimated 40 percent of the country’s electricity. By the year 2030, the shift to renewable energy could lower the average American electric bill by $85.
According to Bloomberg Business:
“The way electricity is being produced is being significantly transformed,” said Michael Brune, president of the Sierra Club. “It will amount to a move away from fossil fuels toward clean energy.”
The President explained the need to enact the plan is not built off opinion, but that changes in the environmental climate are, “threatening our economy, our security, and our health,” and “it is time to act.”
In an effort to eradicate climate issues for future generations, President Obama is steadfast not only in expressing the dire necessity for the plan, but on emphasizing its longevity.
“But until now,” he continued, “there have been no federal limits to the amount of that pollution those plants can dump into the air. Think about that. We limit the amount of toxic chemicals like mercury and sulfur and arsenic in our air and water, and we’re better off for it. But existing power plants can still dump unlimited amounts of harmful carbon pollution into the air we breathe. For the sake of our kids, for the health and safety of all Americans, that’s about to change.”
You can read more about the climate initiative here.