“Lawless and Radical”: What the 2016 Candidates Think of Obama’s New Climate Change Plan

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Carolyn Kaster/AP


President Barack Obama just unveiled the final version of rules that crack down on carbon dioxide emissions from power plants—the most significant contributor to global warming in the United States. “Climate change is not a problem for another generation, not anymore,” Obama said in a video released on Sunday. But not everyone agrees. Here’s what some of the leading 2016 presidential candidates think of Obama’s Clean Power Plan:

Marco Rubio

On Sunday, at an event hosted by the Koch Brothers, the Florida senator slammed the plan. “So if there’s some billionaire somewhere who is a pro-environmental, cap and trade person, yeah, they can probably afford for their electric bill to go up a couple of hundred dollars,” Rubio said, according to The Huffington Post. “But if you’re a single mom in Tampa, Florida, and your electric bill goes up by thirty dollars a month, that is catastrophic.” Experts disagree with Rubio’s suggestion that the new rules will be costly for ratepayers. As Tim McDonnell explains, “even though electric rates will probably go up, monthly electric bills are likely to go down, thanks to efficiency improvements.”

Jeb Bush

The former Florida governor released an official statement, calling the plan “overreaching” and “irresponsible.” Bush argued that the new rules would raise energy prices while also trampling on the powers of state governments. Bush went so far as to say that the plan would “[hollow] out our economy” for the sake of addressing climate change.

Mike Huckabee

The former Arkansas governor has been adamant about his opposition to the Clean Power Plan, saying that it would “bankrupt families.” On Monday he doubled down on his opposition to the plan, characterizing it as the president’s “carbon crusade”:

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