Last year, President Obama took aim at the nation’s largest source of carbon dioxide pollution, announcing a plan that would reduce these climate-changing emissions from the country’s power plants by one-third by 2030, from 2005 levels.
It is an ambitious proposal to rein in a pollutant that has escaped regulation. But the president was absolutely right in taking this action. As he pointed out, these plants emit more carbon dioxide than our cars, planes and homes combined, and it is this greenhouse gas that is the principal culprit behind the alarming warming of our planet.
Predictably, the plan has run into a determined legal assault from businesses, industry groups and more than two dozen states, many with economies that rely on coal mining or coal-fired electricity generation, and its fate now lies with the judicial branch. On Tuesday, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia is set to hear a challenge brought by those litigants.