The Obama administration has given the EPA the green light to start moving for the first time toward limiting greenhouse-gas emissions from major industrial sources. The proposed new rules would affect only large facilities that emit 25,000 tons or more of carbon dioxide annually, instead of applying to "every cow and Dunkin’ Donuts," as critics of EPA involvement in emissions control charge.
President Obama has said he would prefer comprehensive legislation to control emissions, although giving the EPA more power now is likely to push Congress into action, the New York Times notes. Supporters of the move say it will send the message to other countries that the US is taking serious action to tackle climate change. Opponents—especially the industries that will be most affected and plan legal action—say it's pointless to act against only some sources of emissions.