US clean power plan targets carbon pollution

By Allison Warburton and Jordan Phillips

The US government has moved to act on carbon emissions by requiring US states to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 30 per cent by 2030.

In announcing the Clean Power Plan, the US government has promoted it as a measure not only to combat climate change but also to improve public health by reducing air pollution from the combustion of coal at power stations. This message may be intended to tie the measure back to the enabling Clean Air Act, or could be an attempt to move the political debate away from global climate change towards domestic pollution and health issues.

The measure faces a number of challenges before it is fully implemented. It requires the co-operation of the states, it could be withdrawn by a subsequent administration or Congress could remove the legislative basis for the rule…

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