President Obama unveils bold new climate change plan
President Obama plans to release the blueprint for a new clean energy plan this week, which calls for cutting the United States' carbon emissions by a third in 15 years.
The plan calls for an emphasis on solar and wind energy, which has already drawn criticism for its opposition to coal. Coal provides nearly a third of the United States' current energy.
Obama, alongside Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping vowed to significantly cut their carbon emissions. This would require significantly reducing the amount of coal used across the United States.
The plan would require each state to have a goal for cutting emissions and submit a proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency on how they plan to reach those goals. Several states have already expressed concerns about the plan and have vowed to ignore it.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton vows to support the plan in the face of opposition while Republican Presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush have called it "catastrophic," and "irresponsible and overreaching."
The announcement comes at a time when the United States faces heavy disdain from international leaders for refusing to sign the Kyoto Protocol in the past, which was a major initiative to cut carbon emissions.
FACTS ABOUT COAL
Each person in the United States uses 3.7 tons of coal annually.
Coal accounts for about 32% of the total energy production of the United States.
If the current level of use continues, the United States has enough coal to last 235 years.
Cover image: Wikimedia Commons