The Natural Resources Defense Council said the United States government could save $25 billion a year in reduced health and pollution costs if President Barack Obama ordered coal-fired power plants to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by more than 30 percent by 2025. A USA TODAY report stated Obama could make these changes without Congress' approval - an action the NRDC endorses.
The group said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should set new rules for the hundreds of existing plants that create about 40 percent of the nation's carbon pollution, the article stated. If the federal agency imposed such regulations, the NRDC said carbon pollution would decrease by 26 percent by 2020, compared to 2005 levels, and 34 percent by 2025.
The NRDC said Obama should use his authority under the Clean Air act to ensure these regulations go into place, Bloomberg reported. However, the article also said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced earlier this year that the agency had no plans to move ahead with new rules on power plants. And, EPA Assistant Administrator Gina McCarthy said this month that any new rule to impose regulations on the existing coal-fired power plants was "at least several years away."