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Obama To Impose Strict Regulations To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Obama said there was a need for the new "Clean Power Plan," citing increasing damage from climate change including rising sea levels, temperatures, and more severe weather.

by Gillian Mohney
Aug 2 2015, 6:55pm

Imagen por Oliver Berg/EPA

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In an effort to combat the rising threat posed by climate change, President Barack Obama is slated to introduce sweeping changes to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the US by limiting the amount of carbon that can be released from power plants throughout the country.

In a video posted to Facebook, Obama said there was a need for the new "Clean Power Plan," citing increasing damage from climate change including rising sea levels, temperatures, and more severe weather. 

"Climate change is not a problem for another generation not anymore," he said in the video. 

In addition to more severe weather, Obama cited increased rates of asthma in recent decades as one reason to cut carbon emissions.

Obama is expected to introduce the regulations Monday, a year after first introducing the plan to limit carbon emissions. While Obama had initially mandated a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030 nationwide, the final version will require a 32 percent cut, off of 2005 levels, officials told the Associated Press. 

The new rule will require states to be in compliance by 2022 and present a plan to achieve the goal by 2018. The federal government is also planning to provide credits to states who support renewable energy sources such as wind or solar power in 2020 and 2021. 

Related: President Obama Speaks With VICE News

The plan will allow each state to create their own plan to lower emissions but will assign each state a target to reduce carbon emissions from power plants by 2022, according to the New York Times.

Opponents of the plan, especially those in coal-heavy states, have already threatened to immediately file suit. The New York Times reported that at least a dozen states' attorney generals were planning to file suits against the proposed plan, and experts expect it could end up in the Supreme Court before. 

"Once the EPA finalizes this regulation, West Virginia will go to court, and we will challenge it," Patrick Morrisey, the attorney general of West Virginia, said in an interview with a radio station, according to the New York Times

Related: Washington D.C. is Sinking, Literally

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said in a statement she would support the plan if elected as president. 

"It will need defending. Because Republican doubters and defeatists — including every Republican candidate for president — won't offer any credible solution," Clinton said in a statement. "The truth is, they don't want one."

In a statement from earlier this week the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency called for change in a statement and said climate change may lead to thousands of early deaths. 

"If the world acts now, the U.S. can avoid 69,000 premature deaths due to poor air quality and extreme heat in the year 2100 alone," they said in a statement earlier this week. 

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Watch President Obama discuss climate change with VICE Founder Shane Smith:

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