WASHINGTON — Taking aim at global warming, President Obama introduced a politically charged plan Monday to order big and lasting cuts in the pollution power plants discharge. But the plan, though ambitious in scope, wouldn’t be fully realized until long after Obama’s successor takes office and would generate only modest progress worldwide.
Obama’s proposal — to force a 30 percent cut in carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2030 from 2005 levels — drew immediate scorn from Republicans and industry groups, who called it a threat to the economy, and a few Democrats facing reelection campaigns in energy-dependent states. Environmentalists were split, with some hailing the plan and others calling it insufficient to prevent the worst effects of warming.
In all likelihood, the plan is one of the most significant steps Obama will take during his final years in office.
The effort would cost up to $8.8 billion annually in 2030, the Environmental Protection Agency projected. But the actual price is impossible to predict until states decide how to reach their targets, a process that will take years.
Obama, in a conference call with public health leaders, sought to head off critics who have argued the plan will kill jobs, drive up power bills, and crush the economy in some regions.
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