WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency will unveil a sweeping proposal Monday that will require deep cuts in carbon emissions from power plants, including a 30% national target by 2030, according to two people briefed on the plan.
The EPA draft rule, a major plank of President Obama's initiative to fight climate change, will require states to develop and implement plans to cut power plant emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide. It will give states different reduction targets but will seek a national average -- from 2005 levels -- of 25% by 2020 and 30% by 2020, say those familiar with the plan.
The rule will not go into effect for at least another two years, as the EPA is expected to finalize the proposal next June and states will be given at least a year to craft their plans.
In his Saturday radio address, Obama said cutting carbon emission from power plants would have health and economic benefits. In the GOP address, Wyoming's Sen. Mike Enzi, said federal regulation will hike electricity prices and shutter coal-fired power plants.
Prior to the rule's official announcement Monday morning, the EPA declined to comment publicly on the details, some of which the Wall Street Journal first reported Sunday afternoon. "Until then the agency will not comment on any information that may or may not be in the proposal," said agency spokeswoman Liz Purchia.
Thwarted by Congress' inability to pass a bill to lower U.S. carbon emissions, Obama is pushing forward his own approach that could become one of the signature achievements of his administration. He has previously pledged to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, 17% by 2020 from 2005 levels..
Power plants account for the largest share, nearly 40%, of these emissions. Coal-fired facilities will be hardest hit because they emit more CO2 than other power plants.