Politics

Biden seeks to hit 2030 climate goal by reducing emissions in electricity and transportation sectors

President Joe Biden has set a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50% by 2030. 

Biden’s plan aims to “achieve a 50-52 percent reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution in 2030 – building on progress to-date and by positioning American workers and industry to tackle the climate crisis” (WhiteHouse.gov). However, experts say that this goal would require a “rapid transformation of the U.S. economy that would hit electricity generation, transportation, agriculture and manufacturing particularly hard” (Washington Times). The White House has mapped out two avenues for combating climate change: a clean electricity standard and the phaseout of gasoline-powered cars.

Executive action to fight climate change requires making changes to these two sectors of the economy because they produce more than half of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, transportation accounts for 29% of greenhouse gas emissions and electricity generation accounts for 25%. Researchers at the University of Maryland estimate that Biden’s goal would require “the electricity sector… to slash emissions 76% by 2030, and the transportation sector would have to reduce emissions by 40%” (Washington Times).

In addition to this, President Biden proposed a 100% carbon-free electricity mandate by 2035. According to Steve Milloy, a member of Donald Trump’s presidential transition team for the Environmental Protection Agency, “For the administration to come even close to its electricity standard, it would need to close down at least 11 coal and natural gas plants per month between now and 2035” (Washington Times). Biden’s goal would require great changes that could have various impacts on the United States economy.

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ARTICLE: EVA SALGADO

POLITICS EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CNN INTERNATIONAL

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