On Sunday, the White House posted a video to its Facebook in which President Obama states in no uncertain terms that the climate is endangering the country’s economy, security and health. The video drops just one day before the President is to unveil the finalized and even stricter version of his Clean Power Plan, first announced last June.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) August 2, 2015
The Plan will require US power plants to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide they pump into the atmosphere, and marks the first time CO2 has been designated as a pollutant under federal law.
Over 97 percent of climate scientists agree that greenhouse gas emissions from cars, factories and other industrial processes are trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing unprecedented warming and acidification in the ocean and raising land temperatures to record levels.
The highest volume of carbon pollution in the US comes from coal-burning power plants, the cheapest but also the dirtiest source of fuel on the planet. Some 40 percent of electricity in America is generated by coal-burning plants, putting them in the crosshairs of the Clean Power Plan.
“Power plants are the single biggest source of the harmful carbon pollution that contributes to the climate change,” states Obama in the video above. “But until now, there have been no federal limits to the amount of that pollution those plants can dump into the air. Think about that.”
The Clean Power Plan will mandate a 32 percent reduction in carbon pollution by the year 2030. To ease the transition, each state has a different quota to meet based on their current energy portfolio. States that generate more electricity from coal, like Kentucky, will have lower reduction goals; states that generate less electricity from coal, such as Washington, will have higher reduction goals.
“Climate change is not a problem for another generation,” said Obama. “Not anymore.”