Obama to set carbon limits on coal-fired plants today
The Obama administration will press ahead Friday with tough requirements for new coal-fired power plants, moving to impose for the first time strict limits on the pollution blamed for global warming. It would help reshape where Americans get electricity, toward a future fired by cleaner sources of energy.
The proposed rule won't immediately affect plants, but it eventually would force the government to limit emissions from existing fleet, which accounts for a third of all U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. President Obama has given the EPA until next summer to propose those regulations.
The new rule packs the same punch as one announced last year, which was widely criticized by industry and Republicans as effectively banning any new coal projects in the United States. That's because to meet the standard, new coal-fired power plants would need to install expensive technology to capture carbon dioxide and bury it.
Climate report seeks to reconcile temperature quirks
Scientists working on a landmark U.N. climate report are struggling over how to address a wrinkle in the meteorological data that has given ammunition to global-warming skeptics: The heating of Earth's surface appears to have slowed in the past 15 years even though greenhouse gas emissions keep rising.
Scientists have dismissed the purported slowdown in surface warming as a statistical mirage, arguing that it reflects random climate fluctuations and an unusually hot year picked as the starting point for charting temperatures. But leaked documents show there are deep concerns among governments — including those in Germany and the United States — over how to address the purported slowdown. A final version will be presented in Stockholm next week. The IPCC's conclusions are important because they serve as the scientific basis for U.N. negotiations on curbing greenhouse gas emissions. gases.