America can no longer power a 21st century economy with a 19th century technology. Today’s proposed rule from the Obama Administration marks our inevitable shift away from coal and toward modern, cleaner sources of electricity.
The new EPA rule will limit the amount of carbon that a power plant can generate and essentially prevents the construction of new coal-fired plants. Economically speaking, there are 2.3 trillion reasons why this is good news for America. That’s the scale of the global clean energy market. Today’s decision will accelerate deployment and investment in American natural gas, solar, and wind industries, helping us capture a greater share of that global market. Meanwhile, the rule will limit pollution from power plants, making our kids and our communities safer and healthier.
We’ve already started moving in the right direction as a nation. In 2010, 62% of new generating capacity in the United States came from natural gas and wind alone. Only 30% came from coal. Increased production of natural gas, falling costs of wind and solar power, and the construction of two new nuclear reactors in Georgia would indicate that our shift toward cleaner energy will continue.
Enormous challenges still lie ahead as we convert our electricity sector to clean fuels. But today’s proposal from the EPA underscores America’s commitment to building an energy future that will make us safer, healthier, and economically competitive.