- The Washington Times - Monday, June 2, 2014

A Democratic senator said Monday that President Obama’s controversial new carbon pollution rule is part of a “moral duty” to protect the Earth — a goal shared by Pope Francis.

Sen. Edward Markey, Massachusetts Democrat, met with the pontiff last week and said Francis shares the belief that mankind must take action to fight climate change.

“Last week, I met with Pope Francis and Vatican leaders about our moral duty to protect the climate. This is our chance to engage in a new era of cleaner energy job creation that will benefit all of creation,” Mr. Markey said, also declaring that the latest Environmental Protection Agency regulations mark “the beginning of the end of America’s long, dirty power plant era.”

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy will formally announce the carbon proposal later Monday morning, and the president also will speak about it during an afternoon conference call.

The plan is designed to limit carbon emissions from power plants. It calls for dramatic reductions in carbon pollution — 30 percent by 2030.

The rules offer states flexibility in meeting that target, including the option of forming regional cap-and-trade systems or replacing old coal-fired facilities with wind and solar power.

The pope hasn’t endorsed Mr. Obama’s specific plan, but has spoken in broad terms of the need to protect the planet.

“Custody of creation is custody of God’s gift to us, and it is also a way of saying thank you to God,” Francis said last month. “If we destroy creation, creation will destroy us. Never forget this.”



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