NEW: President Obama says critics always wrong with dire predictions
Administration officials say it will build jobs, benefit the economy
The regulations will prevent up to 6,600 premature deaths, the EPA says
Plan will cost up to $8.8 billion annually but bring benefits worth $55-$93 billion, EPA says
For decades, U.S. climate change policy amounted to a hypocrisy associated with bad parenting: “Do as I say, not as I do.”
That began to change Monday when President Barack Obama’s administration announced its boldest step yet to reduce the nation’s biggest source of pollution blamed for global warming – carbon emission from power plants.
A proposed new Environmental Protection Agency rule would reduce such emissions 30% by 2030, compared to the levels in 2005.
The move announced by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy was intended to show the world that the United States would walk the climate change talk, and establish Obama’s environmental legacy as he enters the final third of his presidency.
“For the sake of our families’ health and our kids’ future, we have a moral obligation to act on climate,” McCarthy said. “When we do, we’ll turn risks on climate into business opportunity. We’ll spur innovation and investment, and we’ll build a world-leading clean energy economy.”