Obama wants big carbon dioxide cuts

WASHINGTON (AP) - Americans' day-to-day lives won't change noticeably if President Barack Obama achieves his newly announced goal of slashing carbon dioxide pollution by one-sixth in the next decade, experts say.

Except for rising energy bills. And how much they'll go up depends on who's doing the calculating.

The White House will commit the U.S. to a goal of cutting carbon dioxide emissions in 2010 to about 17 percent below 2005 levels at a U.N.-sponsored climate change summit in Copenhagen early next month. That's about 12.5 percent below 2008 levels, according to the Department of Energy. He also set a goal of cutting emissions by 83 percent by 2050, which is what European nations want.

So the question is how big a burden would those double-digit cuts be for the average American.

Experts say it will mean higher energy bills, fewer deaths from pollution, and maybe even a dividend check at the end of the year. But mostly, they say, it'll be small, slowly evolving changes that the public won't even notice.


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