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Established under the Obama administration, the Clean Power Plan regulated greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, the nation’s second-largest source of planet-warming gas. But in 2019, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency replaced this plan with a new rule designed to protect the coal industry while backing away from emissions reductions. Whereas the Clean Power Plan was expected to reduce emissions by about 30% by 2030, EPA projections suggest the replacement rule might reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.7%, or possibly not at all.

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Biden has already said he will rejoin the Paris climate agreement, but there’s much more he could do to show the world that the United States is serious about fighting climate change. A report from Brown University’s Climate Solutions Lab lays out a series of steps that include creating a “climate club” of countries that volunteer to reduce emissions by agreeing to set a minimum price on carbon and penalize high-emitting countries through trade measures such as tariffs. Another proposal outlined in the report calls for Biden to work with the European Union — the largest importer of natural gas — as well as Canada and Mexico to curb methane emissions.

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One of the most significant steps Biden could take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions would to be reinstate tough nationwide rules for auto emissions and mileage standards that were put in place under the Obama administration and that essentially mirrored regulations already in effect in California. These rules are important because transportation is a top source of planet-warming gases. When they were put in place, they were considered one of the nation’s most successful efforts to combat climate change.

Energy

TRUMP on wind turbines: Wind turbines’ fumes “kill all the birds” and give off more “fumes” than natural gas.

Two Kennedy family members' bodies found in Chesapeake Bay

How to address climate questions took the center of debates, with alarms sounded by powerful people. “Climate change is becoming an investment risk,” BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said in remarks this week. “This is becoming a dominant theme with more of our investors.”

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