President Barack Obama on Monday will announce the most significant action to combat climate disruption his administration has taken and the boldest move to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in American history. The president will use his executive authority under the Clean Air Act to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants by 20 percent. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulation would create cap-and-trade programs across the country that would make industry pay for their pollution.

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The new 3,000 page rule would set pollution reduction targets that allow the flexibility for states to set up their own cap-and-trade programs or find other ways to cut carbon emissions by adding more renewable power such as wind and solar to the grid and increasing energy efficiency technology. According to The New York Times, many states are looking for ways to replicate the nation’s two existing cap-and-trade programs that were signed into law by Republican governors Mitt Romney in Massachusetts and Arnold Schwarzenegger in California.

Related: Landmark White House Report Warns Americans That Climate Change Poses an Imminent Threat

“This EPA regulation will breathe life into state-level cap-and-trade programs,” Peter Shattuck, director of market initiatives at Environment Northeast, a Boston-based climate policy advocacy and research organization, told The New York Times.

Many prominent Republicans used to support cap-and-trade, including Arizona Senator John McCain, who made a major policy speech in 2008 during his presidential run when he said that “we stand warned by serious and credible scientists across the world that time is short and the dangers are great. The most relevant question now is whether our own government is equal to the challenge.” McCain added that “a cap-and-trade policy will send a signal that will be heard and welcomed all across the American economy. And the highest rewards will go to those who make the smartest, safest, most responsible choices.”

Via New York Times

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