PLEDGE NOW
The EPA And American Power Plants

Reining in the pollution from American power plants. We’ll dig into the President’s plan and its implications for climate change and the economy.

The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, in a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. (AP)

The coal-fired Plant Scherer is shown in operation early Sunday, June 1, 2014, in Juliette, Ga. The Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, in a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming. (AP)

If necessary, the President told the country, he would act on his own, without Congress, to protect the environment, the planet.  Yesterday, through the EPA, he did.  New proposed rules would cut American carbon emissions by 30 percent by the year 2030.  That means, basically, closing or retooling coal-fired power plants to cut pollution and climate change.  The cost?  That will now be debated.  The economic cost of acting.  The environmental cost of not acting.  The alternative energy sources that will move in.  This hour On Point:  the climate, the economy, and the Obama plan.

— Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Amy Harder, energy policy reporter for The Wall Street Journal. (@AmyAHarder)

David Victor, professor in the school of International Relations and Pacific Studies at the University of California, San Diego. Author of ‘Global Warning Gridlock: Creating More Effective Strategies for Protecting the Planet.”

Danielle Baussan, managing director of energy policy at the Center for American Progress. (@DanielleBaussan)

Robert Bryce, senior fellow at the Center for Energy Policy and Environment at the Manhattan Institute. Author of “Power Hungry: The Myths of ‘Green’ Energy And the Real Fuels of the Future.” (@pwrhungry)

From Tom’s Reading List

The Wall Street Journal: EPA to Seek 30% Cut in Emissions at Power Plants — “The rule would affect hundreds of fossil-fuel power plants—hitting the nation’s roughly 600 coal-fired plants the hardest. The carbon framework seeks to strike a balance between what environmentalists want—an ambitious overall target—with what the utility industry wants—flexibility, a long compliance timeline and an earlier base-year calculation from which to meet the goal. Carbon emissions have dropped since 2005, making the overall reduction smaller when compared with recent years.”

New York Times: Teaching an Old Law New Tricks — “Don’t expect big changes anytime soon. Legal challenges could tie up this effort for years. This is the sad reality of climate policy in the United States circa 2014. With Congress paralyzed on the issue, the country’s climate and energy policy is being made in arcane legal battles over the meaning of single phrases in statutes written long ago, leaving government and industry to duke it out in court.”

POLITICO: Obama seeks 30 percent cuts in power plants’ carbon pollution — “The draft rule also supplied an instant campaign issue for Republicans, who are already pounding vulnerable Democratic candidates as accomplices in a job-destroying, Obama-led “war on coal.” Legal challenges from some states and industry groups are considered inevitable, but EPA has won a string of recent court victories that have boosted the agency’s confidence in its strategy.”

Read The EPA’s Draft Clean Power Plan

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Feb 12, 2016
Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., reacts to the cheering crowd at his primary night rally Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2016, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

Trump and Sanders take New Hampshire. Ferguson under fire from the Justice Department. A rocky week on Wall Street. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Feb 12, 2016
Overcast sky surrounds a man as he rests beneath the art sculpture 'Cupid’s Span' Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2012 at Rincon Park in San Francisco. The Bay area has endured unsettled, rainy weather for a week. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Love in the digital age. Romance, sex and expectations in a time of Tinder, Bumble and OKCupid.

RECENT
SHOWS
Feb 11, 2016
A sampling of same of the great books author David Denby thinks could help encourage young readers to love books. (National Post)

David Denby on the 24 great books that can bring even today’s kids to reading. And maybe you, too.

 
Feb 11, 2016
In this Oct. 21, 2013, file photo, Vern Lund, president of Liberty Mine in central Mississippi near DeKalb, Miss., holds some of the lignite coal planned for use in the nearby Mississippi Power Co. carbon capture power plant. (AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

The Supreme Court hits the brakes on the heart of President Obama’s push to fight global warming. We’ll dig in.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Notes From New Hampshire, #9: Remedy Or Replica?
Wednesday, Feb 10, 2016

Jack Beatty offers one last note from New Hampshire, and looks beyond to the primary races yet to come in both parties.

More »
Comment
 
Tom Ashbrook’s Note From New Hampshire
Tuesday, Feb 9, 2016

Fresh off the New Hampshire Presidential Primary results, host Tom Ashbrook reflects on his trip to New Hampshire, and on what comes next in the race to the White House.

More »
Comment
 
Notes From New Hampshire, #6: Bernie v. Hillary — The Electability Debate
Monday, Feb 8, 2016

Bill and Betty are not real New Hampshire voters. But their arguments about the Democratic race for President most certainly are.

More »
Comment