This week, President Obama announced the finalization of his Clean Power Plan, the biggest step we've ever taken to combat climate change. This plan sets the first-ever carbon pollution standards for power plants, while providing states and utilities with the flexibility they need to meet those standards.
Newspapers across the country have praised the Clean Power Plan as a major step forward in the fight against climate change. Here's just a few examples of what they're saying:
USA Today (Editorial Board): Power plan protects planet: Our view
If carbon dioxide emissions were purple and pungent, instead of colorless and odorless, the clean-power standards President Obama announced Monday wouldn’t be necessary. Public outcry over the smelly purple haze would have long ago prompted Congress to put a price on carbon pollution and make alternative energy sources far more competitive. But the 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide that America pumps into the atmosphere each year are invisible, and the effects of climate change are gradual.
The New York Times (Editorial): President Obama’s Tough, Achievable Climate Plan
President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, announced on Monday, is unquestionably the most important step the administration has taken in the fight against climate change. It imposes the first nationwide limits on carbon dioxide pollution from power plants, the source of 31 percent of America’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
Anniston Star (Editorial): Luther Strange's love for the planet
The fight to neuter President Obama’s Clean Power Plan may be waged in state capitals like Montgomery as much, if not more, than in Washington. That’s swell news for Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, one of the state-level torch-bearers for Republican opposition to the White House. On Monday, the day the president announced his plan to cut carbon emissions from electricity plants, Strange released an email statement that darn near blamed the administration’s climate-change effort for this week’s stifling heat. “The Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan continues the Obama administration’s theme of ignoring the legal limits on its executive authority in order to satisfy a political agenda that places the lowest priority on the rights of coal industry workers and American consumers,” Strange said in his email.
Arizona Republic (Editorial Board): EPA’s Clean Power Plan still costly but more realistic
With more than 4,000 pages of new rules from the Environmental Protection Agency, Arizona utility companies and regulators have a lot of dense reading on their nightstands, courtesy of the new Clean Power Plan. It will take a while to digest all the ramifications of this sweeping federal expansion of power over the energy industry, which until now has operated largely under the purview of the states. But President Obama’s much debated plan to reduce the production of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere may not impact Arizona as dramatically as once feared.
San Francisco Chronicle (Editorial): Obama is right to focus on climate change
President Obama’s new rules to fight global warming are groundbreaking, serious and sure to ignite a battle that will last for the rest of his final term. The good news is that this is a battle worth fighting — and winning.
Tampa Bay Times (Editorial): Obama charts more robust effort to fight climate change
By imposing this first-ever national standard on emissions from power plants, the nation’s single largest source of carbon pollution, the administration is tackling a root cause of global warming head-on and setting a reasonable timetable for action. By imposing this first-ever national standard on emissions from power plants, the nation’s single largest source of carbon pollution, the administration is tackling a root cause of global warming head-on and setting a reasonable timetable for action. The carbon-cutting plan that President Barack Obama announced Monday is good news for consumers, the environment, public health and the economy.
Gulf News (Editorial): Clean Power Plan is late step in the right direction
The US Clean Power Plan, new rules and regulations that will focus on reducing pollution from the nation’s power plants, is the type of environmental agenda that all countries should be setting. It’s unfortunate such action has taken so long in coming from the world’s economic leader. The plan, which was announced on Monday by US President Barack Obama, is a step in the right direction. Power plants will have to attain even lower levels of carbon dioxide pollution, with the country as a whole committing to cutting emissions levels by 2030.
Chicago Tribune (Editorial Board): Reversing the tide on climate change
These new rules should clean the skies. You hear a lot of flattering but unverifiable numbers and predictions attached to the Obama administration's plan to reduce carbon emissions from power plants. (It'll be like removing 166 million cars from the highway! The health savings will far outstrip the cost!) But if you focus on one scary fact — climate change is happening — you come around.
Daily Iowan (Editorial Board): Obama’s EPA plan transcends political allegiances
Obama’s EPA plan transcends political allegiances President Obama has set in motion an ambitious plan through the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce greenhouse gases and combat climate change Monday with his clean power plan. The plan aims to “cut carbon emissions from the power sector by 32 percent by 2030” and is a significant step towards moving to a more energy sustainable future for the country. Obama’s plan not only stresses the need for less reliance on coal and other nonrenewable resources, it also addresses climate change both in terms of the present and the corresponding effects predicted for the future.
The Des Moines Register (Editorial): Cooler heads should prevail on Clean Power Plan
If you enjoyed the battle over Obamacare, you will love the coming battle over the president’s Clean Power Plan announced Monday. At least that is the impression you might get from the reaction of some politicians and die-hard defenders of the coal industry. Members of Congress vow to block the new rules and opponents threaten to go to court challenge the Environmental Protection Agency’s legal authority to require reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Central Maine (Morning Sentinel (Editorial Board): Clean Power Plan will help us breathe easier
Maine congressional delegation should resist efforts to weaken the federal carbon emissions limits. Summer in Maine is supposed to be the reward for enduring a long, cold winter. For too many Maine residents, though, sunny days are no fun. These are the people with heart and lung ailments that are aggravated when sunlight and heat combine with pollutants from dirty out-of-state power plants to create ozone. These Mainers may get relief if President Barack Obama succeeds in putting in place the first federal limits on existing power plants’ carbon emissions.
Baltimore Sun (Editorial Board): Obama's power plan rules can work
Republican presidential candidates wasted no time in decrying President Barack Obama's new regulations to cut greenhouse gas emissions from power plants in near apocalyptic terms. Among those running for president, Sen. Marco Rubio predicted "catastrophic" increases in electric bills, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said the rules would "throw countless people out of work," and Sen. Ted Cruz called the plan a "lawless and radical attempt to destabilize the nation's energy system."
Massachusetts Live (Editorial): New Clean Power Plan takes lead on climate change
Think globally, overreact locally. That's what critics of President Barack Obama's new clean air plan will argue that the White House is doing. We can't solve the global problem of climate change, they'll fairly shout, by imposing a national set of rules on each and every state. Doing so won't help to reduce carbon emissions in China or India – or anywhere else across the globe, for that matter. To which we'd ask one simple question: Got a better plan? The White House is acting because Congress has done exactly nothing about climate change. Nothing except to say that there's nothing to be done, or to deny that there's a problem.
Detroit Free Press (Editorial Board): Obama puts climate change on nation’s political agenda
With fewer than 18 months remaining in his eight-year tenure, President Barack Obama has at last confronted what he accurately describes as the single greatest threat to America’s future: the proliferation of greenhouse gasses scientists overwhelmingly blame for raising the Earth’s temperature. The centerpiece of the president’s long-awaited Clean Power Plan is a rule from the Environmental Protection Agency that sets the first-ever limits on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants. If they withstand a certain legal assault by the coal industry and electric utilities, the new limits could force the closure of hundreds of coal-fired power plants, end the construction of new coal plants and spur production of wind and solar energy.
The Star Tribune (Editorial): Obama's Clean Power Plan is good for the planet, good for public health
The Obama administration’s new Clean Power Plan is a historic step forward in the fight to slow climate change. Less well-known is that it’s also a dramatic public health advance. Limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, the leading source of this climate change accelerant in the United States, has the added benefit of reducing harmful air pollutants. That’s a critical but often overlooked reason that these controversial emissions standards merit support as a national debate erupts after their release on Monday.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (Editorial): Clean Power Plan gives the world a shot. Maybe a last shot
Fifty years from now, if our children and grandchildren aren’t baking on a normal 100-degree day, if coastlines aren’t pushed back by a quarter mile, if you can still grow corn and beans in Missouri and wheat in Kansas, if we’ve developed a working relationship with a hotter planet, then Aug. 3 might be declared a national holiday.
The Kansas City Star (Editorial): Obama’s Clean Power Plan has the right priorities: Use less coal, clean up the air
President Barack Obama’s newly announced Clean Power Plan is a big step forward for a nation that needs to reduce harmful carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants. It’s a strategy worth extra attention in coal-dependent states like Missouri and Kansas.
Missoulian (Editorial): Seize opportunities in Clean Power Plan
The Clean Power Plan is a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposal to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in the United States. It is this country’s most concerted and significant effort to limit carbon pollution – and the many public health costs linked to it. Yet many Republicans in Congress are determined to oppose this much-needed and overdue effort, including Montana’s U.S. Sen. Steve Daines and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke.
My Central Jersey (Editorial): Clean Power Plan breath of fresh air
President Barack Obama’s new and badly needed Clean Power Plan to reduce air pollution in the form of greenhouse gases released this week has put him on a collision course with most of the Republicans running for president, including Gov. Chris Christie, who claim this is one more example of the Obama administration’s expensive job-killing regulatory overreach. The plan will become a talking point in the upcoming GOP debates.
The Star Ledger (Editorial): NJ should applaud Obama crackdown on power plants
President Obama’s announcement yesterday of new carbon rules to fight global warming is the most important thing he’s done in office, along with health care reform. Not only will it force reductions in carbon pollution from our nation’s coal-fired power plants, it will put a burner under research into green technologies, which in the end is our only hope to reduce the threat of climate change.
The Trentonian (Editorial): A Power Plan with Teeth
President Obama unveiled the final version of his signature climate change policy on Monday, to aggressive attack and enthusiastic cheering. The cheering is on target: Obama’s Clean Power Plan will be the single largest action the country has taken to combat global warming. It sets an important example for other nations; draft rules on the table before Monday already had helped galvanize climate commitments from other major polluting nations.
The Albany Times-Union (Editorial): Editorial: EPA goal an opportunity
THE ISSUE: New federal emission standards will improve our air and fight global warming. THE STAKES: Opponents have already united in the effort to delay implementation and undermine the program. There's a better path for them.
The News & Observer (Editorial): EPA’s Clean Power Plan promotes the health of people and the planet
As predictably as smoke from a smokestack, objections to the Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan limiting carbon dioxide emissions have come billowing out of industries reliant on mining and burning coal. But this is smoke without a fire. The predictions of economic decline and lost jobs are overstated and the greater benefits ignored. The objections reflect industries and their political minions who would rather leave coal-burning power plants polluting at current levels than invest more in energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Inforum (Editorial): EPA rule reaction excessive
The initial reaction among North Dakota’s leading elected officials to a new air quality standard promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is so over-the-top as to border on apocalyptic. It is more sky-is-falling Chicken Little rhetoric than credible critique. It is almost as much political hot air than is emitted from the average coal-fired power plant. Every time – every time – new clean-air regulations have been thrown at the state’s coal-fired electrical generation sector, the end of the world as we know it was predicted by industry officials, state regulators and the congressional delegation. North Dakota would lose thousands of jobs, they warned. The state’s residents would see utility bills skyrocket to levels that would drive homeowners and business people into poverty. The state’s economy would all but collapse. Did not happen.
The Akron Beacon Journal (Editorial): Framework for clean power
The Clean Power Plan, unveiled by President Obama this week, seeks to alter the thinking of power companies. The president wants utilities, especially those more heavily reliant on coal-fired plants, to do a better job incorporating clean energy sources into their portfolios.
The Toledo Blade (Editorial): Give clean power a chance
Before the ink had dried on the Obama Administration’s new plan to limit power plant emissions, business interests and their political allies began gearing up for legal challenges to the rules. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) calls the plan a job killer and is urging states to refuse to cooperate. Energy lobbies say it is radical and unattainable.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (Editorial): Better fuels than fossils
Energy policy dinosaurs are trying to trample new Environmental Protection Agency rules designed to cut carbon pollution from its most prolific source: coal-fired electricity plants.Republicans in Congress and 10 governors are fighting the Clean Power Plan, which would regulate carbon dioxide from coal plants. Each state is supposed to draft its own plan. Some governors say they won't, but that would only result in the Environmental Protection Agency's writing a state plan for them.
Observer-Reporter (Editorial): Taking action to help heal the planet
A “Doonesbury” comic strip that first appeared Sept. 25, 2011, characterizes climate-change deniers and opponents of any kind of organized effort to slow global warming pretty well. It has “an honest man” named Jim offering a commentary on a radio station, and the portly businessman blusters, “I don’t oppose sound climate policy because it’s flawed. I oppose it because I care much more about my short-term economic interests than the future of the damn planet! Hello?”
The Dallas Morning News (Editorial): Why conservatives can embrace Obama’s good plan for bad air
Within hours of President Barack Obama’s announcement of a clean-air proposal, conservative critics from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell lined up to denounce it as an overreaching job-killer. Conservatives should be cheering, not fighting this approach. The targets are attainable, and free-market advocates should like a plan built on choices and options. In its final plan released Monday, the administration wants the nation to reduce power plants’ carbon emissions by 32 percent from 2005 levels by 2030. That’s a 9 percent greater reduction target than the administration proposed in draft documents last year. However, utilities and states can reach these goals if they continue to make clean-air improvements now.
The Salt Lake Tribune (Editorial): Obama Clean Power Plan tops any GOP effort
President Obama unveiled the final version of his signature climate change policy on Monday, to aggressive attack and enthusiastic cheering. The cheering is on target: Obama's Clean Power Plan will be the single largest action the country has taken to combat global warming. It sets an important example for other nations; draft rules on the table before Monday already had helped galvanize climate commitments from other major polluting nations.
Richmond Times-Dispatch (Editorial): How should Virginia meet its carbon goals?
The EPA’s release of its final rules for the Clean Power Plan presents Virginia with an important question: how best to comply with a federal demand to slash carbon emissions from the energy sector. There is no question about whether the state will comply. If it doesn’t, then Washington will impose a compliance regime on the state from above. Nobody seems to think that’s the best answer.
The Barre Montipelier Times Argus (Editorial): A clear mandate
With Monday’s announcement by the Obama administration that it is unveiling a Clean Power Plan, we find it encouraging we finally have a strategy that’s right for our environment and our economy. In fact, the plan by the Environmental Protection Agency, which outlines the first national standards for reducing carbon emissions from fossil fuel power plants, actually encourages states to work together to reduce carbon emissions on a national scale.
The Milwalkee Journal Sentinel (Editorial): EPA rules are reasonable
Gov. Scott Walker is making a mistake in having Wisconsin join other states in a lawsuit challenging the first-ever requirements to lower carbon emissions from power plants. While the federal regulations announced Monday aren't perfect and could use some changes to credit Wisconsin utilities for the work they've done in recent years, overall the new regulations promise a healthier and more sustainable energy future for the country. In addition to the health and environmental benefits the new regulations provide for the United States, they also show that President Barack Obama is willing to take the lead in the global fight against climate change. That's a strong message in front of an international summit on climate later this year.