90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
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
Mar 3, 2015
A group of community activists in San Francisco, CA celebrate that city's February 2014 embrace of the Fair Chance Campaign's efforts to alter background checks on employment and housing for convicted criminals. (Courtesy All of Us Or None)

Is it time to stop asking job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime? We’ll look at employment and unemployment after prison.

Mar 3, 2015
This July 21, 2014 photo shows strawberry banana chia breakfast smoothie in Concord, N.H. Breakfast habits in America are changing, leading to dramatic shifts in business strategy. (AP)

Food guidelines are changing. So is what we eat for breakfast. Cereal? Out of favor. Eggs? Maybe OK. And all kinds of new menus. We’ll look at Americans and breakfast.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 2, 2015
This image provided by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center shows an artists rendering on how a gamma ray burst occurs with a massive star collapsing and creating a black hole and beaming out focused and deadly light and radiation bursts. Astronomers and space telescopes in April 2013 saw the biggest and brightest cosmic explosion ever witnessed, a large gamma ray burst. (AP)

A super-massive black hole, newly discovered, deep in space. We’ll peer into the realm of the black hole.

 
Mar 2, 2015
In this Tuesday, March 4, 2014 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, accompanied by his wife Sara, right, speaks before the screening of the television documentary "Israel: The Royal Tour" at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles. (AP)

On the eve of Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu’s controversial address to Congress, we look at the US-Israel falling out over Iran nuclear negotiations.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment
 
Two Congressmen Weigh In On DHS Funding
Tuesday, Feb 24, 2015

Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio and Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland present their views on the ongoing Congressional budget fight over Department of Homeland Security funding. (Spoiler: They do not agree on a resolution of the crisis).

More »
1 Comment