'Obama wants to force coal plants to reduce emissions'

May 29, 2014

US President Barack Obama wants to force coal energy plants to reduce emissions and pay for greenhouse gases they do emit through a cap and trade system, the New York Times said Thursday.

Asked by AFP, the White House did not confirm that such a plan is being considered by the president, who has struggled to fulfill his campaign promises on fighting , with most of his initiatives blocked by lawmakers in Congress since 2009.

According to the New York Times, Obama will bypass legislative avenues by using his executive authority to force coal power plants to reduce their emissions by 20 percent. The president plans to announce the program on Monday, the newspaper said.

The idea is to create a national cap on carbon emissions from coal and to let each decide how to get there through increasing energy production from wind, solar and other renewable sources, and by creating a marketplace where "government-issued pollution permits" can be bought and sold between states.

The plan risks sparking hostility from local governments under Republican control, which have already brought lawsuits over whether the Environmental Protection Agency, under Obama's executive authority, has the power to regulate emissions.

The expected presidential announcement would be part of a set of initiatives he unveiled in June 2013 to reduce by 17 percent from their 2005 levels by 2020.

According to the US Energy Information Agency, 37 percent of electricity in the US is produced from coal plants. Renewable energy sources produce 12 percent.

The White House laid the groundwork for these latest possible measures in early May, when it released a massive report on the economic and physical effects of climate change, which it said were already evident in the United States.

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User comments : 7

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howhot2
3.9 / 5 (7) May 29, 2014
This is good news. Finally USA coal is under regulation and the burden for CO2 emissions is becoming larger. It's been needed for a long time.
geokstr
1.8 / 5 (5) Jun 02, 2014
Obama can be seen on a YouTube video saying that he intends to bankrupt the coal industry (source of 40% of our electricity) and that under his energy policies, energy cost will necessarily skyrocket.

Since energy costs are one of the main components of the costs of anything, the price of everything will also necessarily skyrocket. Is that OK with you, Howhot? If you can afford to pay lots more for everything, the vast majority of people on earth cannot. What about them? Or is this just another great excuse to subsidize them, and ultimately control them by making nearly everyone dependent on government handouts, paid for by a diminishing number of productive people and printing more money?

That will end well.
Maggnus
4.2 / 5 (6) Jun 02, 2014
Obama can be seen on a YouTube video saying that he intends to bankrupt the coal industry (source of 40% of our electricity) and that under his energy policies, energy cost will necessarily skyrocket.
Bull. Crap. This is just stupid denialism.
Modernmystic
2.7 / 5 (3) Jun 02, 2014
Obama can be seen on a YouTube video saying that he intends to bankrupt the coal industry (source of 40% of our electricity) and that under his energy policies, energy cost will necessarily skyrocket.
Bull. Crap. This is just stupid denialism.


Well, it's denialism, but is it stupid? I'd like to see that link to the youtube video to see the WHOLE thing in context. I'm quite sure he didn't say he wanted to "bankrupt the coal industry".

HOWEVER, his policies are aimed very much in that direction. Not to mention if we DID shut down every coal plant in this country without sufficient planning for replacement of capacity it would completely demolish the economy...and that's a healthy dose of realism.
Maggnus
3 / 5 (4) Jun 02, 2014
Well, it's denialism, but is it stupid? I'd like to see that link to the youtube video to see the WHOLE thing in context. I'm quite sure he didn't say he wanted to "bankrupt the coal industry".
Yes, that's the "stupid" part. Taking a comment out of context and trying to morph it into something it is not is hubris at the least. In geo's case, stupid is the correct term.

HOWEVER, his policies are aimed very much in that direction. Not to mention if we DID shut down every coal plant in this country without sufficient planning for replacement of capacity it would completely demolish the economy...and that's a healthy dose of realism.
Yes, but surely you are not suggesting that is what he is intending? Or that anyone is? The fact that the US needs to starting moving from a fossil-fuel based economy to a renewable energy based one is surely not in dispute?
Modernmystic
4 / 5 (2) Jun 02, 2014
The fact that the US needs to starting moving from a fossil-fuel based economy to a renewable energy based one is surely not in dispute?


Well not by me anyway ;)

I think what is in dispute (as always with politics) isn't the ends, it's the means. I think it farcical to think you're going to power the United States with solar panels and windmills....so I dispute THAT part of his policy. The general principle that we need to be moving away from a carbon economy is so needed and obvious to me on MANY levels...not just environmental...but we're going to all have to compromise I think to actually get there.

One side isn't going to get their windmills and solar panels and virtual dictatorship over the energy sector...and the other side is going to have to face the obvious fact that we've got a big problem and we need to axe the oil, coal, and gas industries.
Maggnus
4 / 5 (4) Jun 02, 2014
I think what is in dispute (as always with politics) isn't the ends, it's the means. I think it farcical to think you're going to power the United States with solar panels and windmills....so I dispute THAT part of his policy. "snip"

One side isn't going to get their windmills and solar panels and virtual dictatorship over the energy sector...and the other side is going to have to face the obvious fact that we've got a big problem and we need to axe the oil, coal, and gas industries.
I know how you feel about nuclear. Mostly, I agree with you. The important part of what you are saying is the need for multiple approaches. And I don't think Obama is suggesting only one way, nor do I believe that is his policy. The fact that he endorses "solar panels and windmills" does not mean that he is saying no other means can be investigated.

I agree with the snipped part, but I needed room :)

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