Unless you have been under a rock for a few years right now, you probably know by now that carbon emissions are becoming quite the concern — not just for our country, but for the entire globe.

And fighting a task as enormous as cutting carbon pollution is no easy one in this highly-industrialized world we live in. President Obama has unveiled a new plan that will aim to cut carbon pollution from and by the U.S. via its power plants by 30 percent (from 2005 levels) by 2030.


Here are three things you should know about this new plan:

1. It’s Aimed at Coal

As the New York Times highlights, the plan is focused on coal-powered plants and will depend on the efforts of individual states: “The proposal is chiefly aimed at cutting pollution from coal-fired power plants, the nation’s largest source of greenhouse gas emissions. It assigns each state a separate pollution reduction target, but gives each wide leeway in tailoring its plan. The idea, Environmental Protection Agency officials said, is to allow states to design plans that best fit regional economies and mixes of energy sources.”

2. Each State Will Have Its Own Option

Every U.S. state will have its own option about how to move from coal to more sustainable sources. “In order to comply with the new national rule, states can, among other actions, shut down coal plants, install wind and solar power and energy-efficiency technology, or join the California or Northeastern cap-and-trade programs. E.P.A. officials said states could even choose to comply by enacting a state-level tax on carbon pollution,” writes the New York Times. 

3. Resistance is Anticipated

Because so many states depend so heavily on coal for power (and jobs), resistance to the plan is expected: “Just as some states balked at devising ways of carrying out Mr. Obama’s health care program, forcing the federal government to step in in many cases, some governors are signaling that they will resist the new restrictions on power plants,” writes the New York Times. 


The 645-page plan is being reviewed now, but one thing is for sure: while the idea of cutting carbon pollution from coal-powered plants is great, this will not be an easy battle. If you’d like to see more action taken now, consider signing this Sierra Club petition.

Image source: Michael P. Kube-McDowell/Wikimedia Commons