Kerry: ‘Our Coal-Fired Power Plants Have to Begin to Phase Out’

By Eric Scheiner | December 8, 2015 | 3:09 PM EST

Secretary of State John Kerry talks about carbon emissions in Paris. (Screengrab)

(CNSNews.com) - Secretary of State John Kerry told a Paris audience that “our coal-fired power plants have to begin to phase out.”

At an event hosted by the tech site Mashable along with the U.N. Foundation on Monday,  Kerry said: “President Obama has put in place one of the most ambitious national climate action plans in the world. We’ve doubled our car efficiency and truck--We’re requiring our coal-fired power plants have to begin to phase out.”

Kerry made the statements while discussing the impact the private sector and the marketplace will have on carbon emissions.

“It’s the private sector, the next Elon Musk or Steve Jobs is going to find a way to do battery storage for alternative and renewable energy, or we’re going to find a way to burn energy, or maybe this dream of fusion is going to be accelerated and actually have a commercial viability,” Kerry said.

“I don’t know the answer, but I have absolute confidence in the ability of capital to move where the signal of the marketplace says ‘go’ after Paris.

“And if 184 plus nations sign on to a durable agreement with a review and accountability and transparency here in Paris, you watch the world begin to change. And already mayors all across the world are coming together to do things at the local level that they can order by administrative order. Already you’re seeing fleet purchases of automobiles change. Buildings codes are changing.

“President Obama has put in place one of the most ambitious national climate action plans in the world. We’ve doubled our car efficiency and truck – we’re requiring our coal-fired power plants have to begin to phase out.

“We have new standards for new power plants. We have an incredible array of steps we are taking to meet this challenge.”

The new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards set state targets to reduce CO2 emissions from existing power plants in order to comply with Obama’s pledge to cut CO2 emissions nationwide 28 percent by 2025. It gives states one year to submit a State Implementation Plan (SIP) before having one imposed on them by the EPA.

Both the House and Senate have passed resolutions to overturn the rules as well as similar carbon dioxide emissions limits for new and modified power plants despite Obama's pledge to veto the measures.

A 23-state coalition has filed suit challenging the EPA’s plan to limit new coal-fired power plants, claiming the carbon capture technology that the EPA is relying on for those standards is not commercially viable.

 

Eric Scheiner
Eric Scheiner
Eric is the Senior Video Producer for CNSNews.com