Trying to Break the U.S. Energy System for Its Own Good

ARPA-E is trying to shake up the 100-year-old U.S. energy system

Cooling towers are reflected in a puddle in Winfield, West Virginia.

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

The White House doesn't want anyone to panic over its new climate rules. Instead of marking a big shift, the Obama team believes the Clean Power Plan is piggybacking on trends already under way in the economy: Natural gas is killing off coal; solar and wind are cheaper than ever; state-level renewable energy and climate policies are spreading. Americans won't feel a thing. 

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