The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday proposed new regulations that would aggressively crack down on greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel power plants.
If enacted, it would be one of the biggest steps undertaken so far by the Biden Administration in its effort to decarbonize the economy to fight climate change.
The new standards, if enacted, could cause the fossil fuel industry to spend years installing billions of dollars worth of new equipment or shut down.
According to the EPA, the new standards would enable the sector to avoid up to 617 million metric tons of carbon dioxide through 2042, which officials compared to taking roughly half the United States’ 300 million cars off the road.
The EPA’s aim is a drastic improvement in air quality and public health, potentially avoiding more than 300,000 cases of asthma and 1,300 premature deaths by 2030.
The new proposal was blasted on Wednesday before its release by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), the Chair of the Senate Energy Committee, who said in response that he would vote against all of President Biden’s EPA nominees.