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New power plant rule divides Democrats, unites Republicans

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Reaction from lawmakers, environmental activists, industry groups and others to President Barack Obama's proposal to cut carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants:

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"This is the beginning of the end of America's long, dirty power plant era." — Sen. Edward J. Markey, D-Mass., co-author of failed bill to limit carbon emissions.

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"The president's plan is nuts. There's really no more succinct way to describe it." — House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

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"While it is important to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, this should not be achieved by EPA regulations. Congress should set the terms, goals and timeframe." — Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu, who is up for re-election in energy-dependent Louisiana.

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"The proposed rule issued today by the Environmental Protection Agency will lead to long-term and irreversible job losses for thousands of coal miners, electrical workers, utility workers, boilermakers, railroad workers and others without achieving any significant reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions." — Cecil Roberts, president of United Mine Workers of America.

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"While we are still assessing the overall proposal, EPA appears to have allowed for a range of compliance options to reflect the diversity of approaches that states and electric utilities have undertaken and may undertake to reduce greenhouse gas emissions." — Tom Kuhn, president of Edison Electric Institute, which represents utilities.

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"While a step forward, this rule simply doesn't go far enough to put us on the right path. The science on climate change has become clearer and more dire, requiring more aggressive action from the president." — Erich Pica, Friends of the Earth.

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"All countries, including the United States, must do even more than what this reduction trajectory indicates. ... Nevertheless, this is an important step for an administration and a president really investing politically in fighting climate change." — Connie Hedegard, climate change commissioner for the European Union.

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"If these rules are allowed to go into effect, the administration for all intents and purposes is creating America's next energy crisis." — Mike Duncan, president and CEO of the American Council for Clean Coal Electricity.

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"Today's announcement by the Obama administration to reduce our nation's global warming pollution from power plants is the most important step taken to combat the climate crisis in our country's history." — Former Vice-President Al Gore, climate advocate and 2007 Nobel Peace Prize winner for his work on climate change.

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"You only need to look at the decades of scientific research and at the epic droughts and superstorms to know that we can't wait any longer to take action on climate change." — Republican former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California.

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"We are a manufacturing state that is competitive in part based on our low cost of energy. Raising the cost of electricity through these proposed EPA regulations will slow manufacturing and hurt Hoosiers across our economy." — Republican Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana.

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"As users of one-third of the energy produced in the United States, manufacturers rely on secure and affordable energy to compete in a tough global economy, and recent gains are largely due to the abundance of energy we now enjoy. Today's proposal from the EPA could singlehandedly eliminate this competitive advantage by removing reliable and abundant sources of energy from our nation's energy mix." — Jay Timmons, president and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers.

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"Today, the president made good on his promise to American families that his administration would tackle the climate crisis and clean up and modernize the way we power our country." — Michael Brune, executive director of the Sierra Club.

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"The impact on individuals and families and entire regions of the country will be catastrophic, as a proud domestic industry is decimated — and many of its jobs shipped overseas." — Sen. Mitch McConnell, Senate GOP leader from coal-reliant Kentucky.

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