WASHINGTON, DC – Do you know what’s almost as exciting as the arrival of the new phone books? How about a cure for climate change?
President Obama released his plan for clean power that he believes will change the way we live, work, and breathe. "I am here to say that if we want to protect our economy, and our security, and our children's health, we are going to have to do more."
Under the proposed regulations, existing power plants must cut 2005 emission levels by 32 percent by the year 2030.
And they have to use more renewable energy sources. In other words, move away from coal and start using more wind and solar.
The federal government will tell the states how much they have to cut their carbon pollution, and then the states will have to come up with plans that make Uncle Sam happy-happy.
The states have until 2018 to have those plans ready, and then they have four years after that to begin implementing them.
Texas is one state that relies heavily on fossil fuels for power. In 2005 Texas generated more than 148,000 gigawatt hours, the most in the country. And that went up about six percent by 2011.
In contrast, California generated only a little more than 3,000 gigawatt hours using coal in 2005. That’s about a week for Texas. But that number dropped by 32 percent over the next six years. So, yeah, Texas, a red state, takes a bigger hit than California, a blue state, if you believe politics had anything to do with this.
The White House says Americans will see net benefits of at least $26 billion thanks to cleaner air and better health.
But critics say electricity prices will go up for consumers in states like Texas. "If you're a single mom in Tampa, Florida, and your electric bill goes up by 30 dollars a month that is catastrophic,” said presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL).
The Electric Reliability Coordinating Council that represents energy companies says as many as thirty states are ready to go to court. And then there’s that whole presidential election thing coming up. So who knows, this whole plan could go up in smoke.