Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Obama targets coal-fired plants

The Obama administration on Monday announced one of the strongest actions ever taken by the U.S. government to fight climate change, a proposed Environmental Protection Agency regulation to cut carbon pollution from the nation's power plants 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.

The regulation takes aim at the largest source of carbon pollution in the United States, the nation's 600 coal-fired power plants. If it withstands an expected onslaught of legal and legislative attacks, experts say that it could close hundreds of the plants and also lead, over the course of decades, to systemic changes in the U.S. electricity industry, including transformations in how power is generated and used.

Gina McCarthy, the EPA administrator, unveiled the proposal in a speech Monday. "Today, climate change — fueled by carbon pollution — supercharges risks not just to our health, but to our communities, our economy, and our way of life," she said.

President Obama, who failed to push a sweeping climate change bill through Congress in his first term, is now acting on his own by using his executive authority under the 1970 Clean Air Act to issue the regulation.

Under the rule, states will be given a wide menu of policy options to achieve the pollution cuts. Rather than immediately shutting down coal plants, states would be allowed to reduce emissions by making changes across their electricity systems by installing wind and solar generation or energy-efficiency technology, and by starting or joining state and regional "cap and trade" programs, in which states agree to cap carbon pollution and buy and sell permits to pollute.

McCarthy said that the proposal will help the economy, not hurt it: "For over four decades, EPA has cut air pollution by 70 percent and the economy has more than tripled. Climate action doesn't dull America's competitive edge — it sharpens it. It spurs ingenuity and innovation."

The EPA forecasts that the rule will prevent 2,700 to 6,600 premature deaths and 140,000 to 150,000 asthma attacks. There is no link between carbon pollution and asthma, but the EPA estimates that future coal plant closures will lead to a 25 percent reduction in traditional air pollutants like soot, sulfur and nitrogen, which are linked to respiratory diseases.

Comments
The Daystarter: South Florida rapper gunned down; murals adorn reclaimed water tanks; the album we’ve all been waiting for

The Daystarter: South Florida rapper gunned down; murals adorn reclaimed water tanks; the album we’ve all been waiting for

Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what to know today.• It’s here: summer. Highs this week will all be in the 90s, with feels-like temperatures near 100 degrees, according to 10Weather WTSP.• As you head out for your morning commute, check...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

Muralist working with huge St. Pete ‘canvas’ to create neighborhood eye-grabber

ST. PETERSBURG — They appear to rise out of nowhere — two enormous, reclaimed-water tanks with an artist’s white clouds scudding across a blue background. A closer view reveals silhouettes of a lone coyote howling at the sky, mangr...
Updated: 19 minutes ago
Rick Scott’s investments have included companies opposed to climate change regulations

Rick Scott’s investments have included companies opposed to climate change regulations

The most vivid snapshot yet of what has made Rick Scott the wealthiest governor in Florida history will be released next month when he must reveal to voters what makes up his net worth.Required as part of Scott's U.S. Senate candidacy, the much-antic...
Updated: 21 minutes ago

Hillsborough Rep. Jack Raburn won’t seek re-election in House District 57

LITHIA — State Rep. Jake Raburn hasn't had a challenger since the Republican first won the District 57 seat in 2012.Now he has an opponent: Valrico's Debbie Katt is a software development engineer and political newcomer who has qualif...
Updated: 1 hour ago
In tit-for-tat, Trump threatens more tariffs against China

In tit-for-tat, Trump threatens more tariffs against China

A new 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports is being threatened by Trump in the latest move toward what could become a trade war
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 5:39 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 5:39 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
Aussies undeterred by opening loss at the World Cup

Aussies undeterred by opening loss at the World Cup

Australia is confident against Denmark despite opening the World Cup with a loss to France
Updated: 1 hour ago
3 men die of 6 wounded in southern Sweden drive-by shooting

3 men die of 6 wounded in southern Sweden drive-by shooting

The fatal shooting of three men in Malmo, Sweden's third largest city, is the latest incident in suburban feuds between criminal gangs fighting over territory and honor
Updated: 1 hour ago
Cambodia announces $100 million in military aid from China

Cambodia announces $100 million in military aid from China

A Cambodian defense official says China has agreed to provide more than $100 million in military aid to the Southeast Asian nation, a close political ally
Updated: 1 hour ago
Kim Jong Un visits China to discuss next steps on nukes

Kim Jong Un visits China to discuss next steps on nukes

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is making a two-day visit to Beijing and is expected to discuss with Chinese leaders his next steps after his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump
Updated: 1 hour ago