The EPA announced it is developing historic new rules to reduce carbon emissions from U.S. power plants. Oddly, this story flew under the raider in the national news, yet was widely noticed by the environmental community, Senator's in coal states and Republican's looking to unseat Democrats.
These standards are a centerpiece of President Obama's Climate Action Plan, designed to address global warming, energy efficiency, pollution, green technology, and health and safety. Most would argue this type of Federal approach is long-overdue. I'd argue it is a case of better-late-then-never.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, power plants account for nearly 40% of U.S. CO2 emissions, more than every car, truck, and plane in the U.S. combined. Today, there are no rules in effect that limit U.S. power plant emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary contributor to global warming.
Now, for the first time, the EPA is developing standards that will requires state's to act at different levels to address the same goal: reduce total national carbon emissions by 30% of 2005 levels by 2030.
These EPA standards and the Obama Climate Action Plan are long-over due, and something that certainly is necessary, as global warming is already making an impact: costing jobs and economic activity, which in the near future could be as high as 3.6% of GDP. Such programs may very well offer long-term solutions on the environmental front, and from a business perspective, will potentially put U.S. businesses and the green technology industry on a path of global leadership.