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US plans to reduce to power plant pollution unveiled

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The American power sector has unveiled plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30% by 2030 from 2005 levels under new government regulations unveiled on Monday, forming part of President Obama’s climate change strategy.

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal is one of the most significant environmental rules proposed by the United States, and could transform the power sector, which relies on coal for nearly 38 percent of electricity. It also set off a political backlash likely to run well into next year.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled new guidelines under the Clean Power Plan proposal, which is expected to move the US towards a “cleaner environment and help fight climate change”.

Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator, said on Monday that between 2020 and 2030, the amount of carbon dioxide the proposal would reduce would be more than double the carbon pollution from the entire U.S. power sector in 2012.

“The flexibility of our Clean Power Plan affords states the choices that lead them to a healthier future. Choices that level the playing field, and keep options on the table, not off,” McCarthy said in remarks at EPA headquarters on Monday.

“By leveraging cleaner energy sources and cutting energy waste, this plan will clean the air we breathe while helping slow climate change so we can leave a safe and healthy future for our kids. We don’t have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment–our action will sharpen America’s competitive edge, spur innovation and create jobs.”

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