Over the past few days, President Obama has announced new climate change-related policies that utilizes the Clean Air Act of 1970 to enforce tougher standards on GHG-emitting power plants, such as the many aging coal-fired power plants that still supply electricity to citizens in Illinois and throughout the nation.
More details of the announcement from the White House on 3 Aug 2015 can be found in this Fact Sheet, which links climate change policy to the protection of public health and national security. Unsurprisingly, Obama’s announcement has spurred a critical response from Republican legislators, especially those from states which rely heavily on coal for power generation — opposition which has been long planned since the President signaled he would move significantly on climate change mitigation policy back in 2013.
While sure to create a political and legal battle for the next several years, the President’s announcement assures the public he is serious about curtailing GHG emissions in the US, and puts climate change front and center in the upcoming presidential election debates of 2015-16. For more information, see the Clean Power Plan page on the EPA’s website.