Critics say emission reduction plan will cost jobs

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans in Congress are vowing to challenge the plan outlined by the Obama administration today that is aimed at cutting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years. They say it will cost jobs.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell calls the proposal "a dagger in the heart of the American middle class."

But environmental groups are hailing the proposal. Former Vice President Al Gore says it's "the most important step taken to combat the climate crisis in our country's history."

The plan is a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's efforts to deal with climate change. Each of the 50 states will now determine how to meet individual targets set by the Environmental Protection Agency, and then submit the plans for approval.

Some states will be allowed to emit more pollutants, and others less. And the deadline for some states to comply won't come until long after Obama leaves office.

Scrapping the rules could be easier for Republicans if they take the Senate in November and then the White House in 2016.

Republican Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming is accusing Obama of taking the side of "extreme activists instead of unemployed Americans." And one industry group says Obama will be "creating America's next energy crisis."

But an environmental group, Friends of the Earth, says the plan "doesn't go far enough to put us on the right path."

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199-a-10-(Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator, in announcement)-"best for them"-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says states will have some control on ways to meet their carbon emission targets. (2 Jun 2014)

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200-a-16-(Gina McCarthy, EPA administrator, in announcement)-"doing them today"-EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy says the rule allows flexibility for each state to develop a plan for meeting its target, or even join other states in a group plan. (2 Jun 2014)

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APPHOTO MIMUS501: FILE--In this December 13, 2010, file photo, Consumer Energy's B.C. Cobb Plant in Muskegon, Mich. is shown. Consumers Energy is asking the state to approve a bond issue that will allow it to close and demolish three coal-fired power plants in Michigan. The Muskegon Chronicle reports the request to the Michigan Public Service Commission would allow it to close and demolish the B.C. Cobb plant on Muskegon Lake beginning in April 2016. Michigan officials will assess the impact on the state when President Barack Obama on Monday, June 2, 2014, announces tougher new air quality standards affecting coal-fired power plants. Coal produces about 55 percent of the electricity in the state while natural gas produces 11 percent. (AP Photo/The Muskegon Chronicle, Jeffrey Ball, File) (2 Jun 2014)

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