Tracking Obama’s Climate Rules for Power Plants

Jun 1, 2014 by

President Obama is poised to roll out the first regulations restricting carbon dioxide releases from the country’s existing power plants, with the main target being coal-burning plants like this one in Tatum, Tex.Tom Pennington for The Texas TribunePresident Obama is poised to roll out the first regulations restricting carbon dioxide releases from the country’s existing power plants, with the main target being coal-burning plants like this one in Tatum, Tex.

I’m heading to Beijing to participate in a week of meetings related to the unfolding international science effort called Future Earth, so I won’t be able to weigh in in a timely fashion on President Obama’s planned Monday release of regulations restricting carbon dioxide emissions from existing American power plants.

You can follow coverage and commentary on this White House move in The Times here.

An important question that political and climate analysts will be examining is how much bite is in the regulations — meaning how much they would curb emissions beyond what’s already happening to cut power plant carbon dioxide thanks to the natural gas boom, the shutdown of old coal-burning plants because of impending mercury-cutting rules (read the valuable Union of Concerned Scientists “Ripe for Retirement” report for more on this), improved energy efficiency and state mandates developing renewable electricity supplies.

Here’s Obama’s Saturday address, which he devoted to his power plant plan, stressing that the same plants that are big sources of pollution contributing to respiratory illness are also the main source of carbon dioxide contributing to global warming:

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