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US unveils sweeping regulations to combat climate change

US unveils sweeping regulations to combat climate change
By Yagiz Efe Parmaksiz
Apr 25, 2024 10:43 PM

US President Biden introduces stringent regulations to combat climate change, mandating coal-fired power plants to significantly reduce their carbon emissions

As part of a significant effort to address the challenges posed by climate change, the US unveiled stringent regulations on Thursday. Said regulations mandate coal-fired power plants to significantly reduce their carbon emissions, with the consequence of potential closure by 2032 for non-compliance.

This order, a crucial component of President Joe Biden’s environmental plan, garnered praise from environmentalists while drawing criticism from business groups and Republicans.

Once the new regulations take effect in 2032, coal-fired plants will be compelled to significantly reduce their carbon emissions or commit to permanent closure. Additionally, the regulations stipulate that newly constructed, sizable gas-fired power plants are required to significantly reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 90%. 

Michael Regan, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), emphasized the government’s dedication to various important matters, including ensuring energy security, minimizing pollution, and addressing the pressing climate challenge.

Based on the data provided by the EPA, it is projected that these regulations will effectively prevent approximately 1.4 billion metric tons of carbon emissions from being released into the atmosphere by the year 2047. This is equivalent to the carbon emissions that would typically be released by the power sector over the course of a year.

Lori Bird, the US Energy Program director at the World Resources Institute, expressed enthusiasm for the rules, considering them a significant stride in combating climate change. She commended the Biden administration for its courageous approach.

However, the news faced swift criticism from individuals in the business sector and Republican politicians. According to Rich Nolan, the president and CEO of the National Mining Association, the government is making preparations to close coal plants in a methodical manner. He also expressed concerns about potential legal battles in the future.

The final rules are a result of a draft plan that was released last year. The changes have been made in accordance with the statements made by various parties.

There were concerns among certain environmental groups regarding the extent of the rules, as they felt it did not sufficiently encourage the adoption of carbon capture technology. However, there were also those who commended the Biden administration for their proactive approach.

The work of the administration has been praised by Margie Alt from the Global Action Campaign, who believes it will have a significant impact on reducing global pollution. Alt praised the actions of the Biden administration as a significant advancement in the nation’s environmental policies.

In addition to the carbon rules, the Biden administration has given the green light to three additional regulations addressing mercury emissions, water pollution, and coal plant ash releases. These efforts to regulate demonstrate the government’s comprehensive approach to addressing environmental issues.

Source: AFP

Last Updated:  Jun 3, 2024 4:48 PM