No wonder U.S. President Barack Obama hopped on a flight to Europe this week. On June 2, when his environmental chief rolled out a massive proposed rule that would force power plants to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 (relative to 2005 levels), Republicans vied to lambaste the plan, which House Speaker John Boehner dismissed simply as “nuts.” In Europe, Obama can expect a kinder reception. The European Union climate chief, Connie Hedegaard, hailed the proposal as the “strongest action ever taken by the U.S. government to fight climate change” — even as she urged every country, the United States included, to do “even more.”

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