In this March 8, 2014 file photo steam from the Jeffrey Energy Center coal-fired power plant is silhouetted against the setting sun near St. Marys, Kan. Photo: AP
The Obama administration has unveiled a plan to cut carbon emissions from power plants in the United States by nearly one-third in the next 15 years.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy called the proposal she outlined Monday, "ambitious, but achievable.\’\’
She said the key to making the plan work is that each of the 50 U.S. states will have its own goal tailored to its particular circumstances.
The initiative aims to promote renewable energy sources, such as solar and wind, as well as energy efficiency.
The proposal, which is expected to be completed next year, sets the first national limits on carbon dioxide, the chief gas linked to climate change.   
The proposal is part of a larger climate action plan announced by President Barack Obama a year ago in an effort to decrease global warming.  In 2009, the U.S. leader pledged to reduce by 17 percent the country\’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 compared to 2005 levels.
While environmental groups laud the initiatives, many business groups and opposition legislators argue that such actions will cost jobs, increase the cost of power and inflict severe harm on the economy. Many opposed to the changes also question whether human activity is responsible for climate change.
The changes will further diminish the role of coal in U.S. electrical production. Power plants are the largest source of greenhouse gases in the United States, accounting for about a third of the country\’s annual emissions.
In 2009, the U.S. leader pledged to reduce the country\’s greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent by 2020 compared to 2005 levels.
Source: VOA and agencies
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