4 Key Takeaways From EPA's New Rules for Power Plants
The emissions goals may be easier to meet than many expect, but the coal industry and several states face big challenges.
The new rules announced Monday to limit carbon emissions from U.S. power plants represent President Barack Obama's boldest effort yet to counter climate change, guidelines that supporters and critics alike cast as a turning point in U.S. environmental policy.
But what's also striking about the rules is that for all the ambition they represent—and the plan for a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2030 is ambitious—they also appear designed to lock in carbon reductions that have been under way for years, as the United States has begun easing away from coal and toward natural gas and alternative energy sources. (See related story: "One Key Question on Obama's Push Against Climate Change: Will It Matter?")