The Environmental Protection Agency will give states more time to begin cutting carbon emissions from power plants, according to a source familiar with the final regulation.

Under the final Clean Power Plan rule, which is expected to be released as early as next week, enforcement of the regulation would begin in 2022, rather than the proposed 2020 start date. The changes outlined by the source are an attempt to quash concerns that states would need to shift their power sectors too quickly, imposing potentially heavy costs and creating concerns about maintaining adequate electricity supply.

The regulation is the centerpiece of President Obama's climate change agenda, but it has faced intense criticism from Republicans, the energy industry and a handful of state governors who say the rule would raise power costs and put coal-mining companies out of business. Opponents also have contended the EPA's timeline is unworkable.

"You're going to see a final rule that is in many ways stronger than the proposed rule, but at the same time gives states the flexibility they need," the source said.

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