June 2 - The U.S. power sector must cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, according to federal regulations unveiled on Monday. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) The U.S. power sector must cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, according to federal regulations unveiled on Monday that form the centerpiece of the Obama administration's climate change strategy. The Environmental Protection Agency's proposal is one of the most significant environmental rules proposed by the United States, and could transform the power sector, which relies on coal for nearly 38 percent of electricity. Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, said on Monday that between 2020 and 2030, the U.S. amount of carbon dioxide the proposal would reduce under the plan would be more than double the carbon pollution from the entire power sector in 2012. "Shaped by public input, present trends, proven technologies, and common sense, our Plan aims to cut energy waste and leverage cleaner energy sources by doing two things: First, setting achievable, enforceable state goals to cut carbon pollution per megawatt hour of electricity generated. And second, laying out a national framework that gives states the flexibility to chart their own, customized path to meet their goals," McCarthy said. "All told, in 2030 when states meet their goals, our proposal will result in 30 percent less carbon pollution from the power sector across the U.S. when compared with 2005 levels," she said. The plan has come under pre-emptive attack from business groups and many Republican lawmakers as well as Democrats from coal-heavy states like West Virginia. But the plan looked less restrictive than some had feared, with targets arguably easier to reach because carbon emissions had already fallen by about 10 percent by 2013 from the 2005 baseline level, partly due to retirement of coal plants in favor of cleaner-burning natural gas.