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Environmental groups dominated a series of public meetings last week on the Environmental Protection Agency's plan to impose carbon-cutting rules on states if they refuse to enact them voluntarily.

The meetings were seen as key milestones in the rollout of some of the more controversial aspects of President Obama's climate change agenda, the centerpiece of which is greenhouse gas emission rules for power plants called the Clean Power Plan.

The meetings also helped the president set the stage for when he travels to Paris later this month to push for a global deal on emissions reductions. The emissions rules are considered key to the U.S. meeting its obligations under any deal. The Clean Power Plan requires states to reduce emissions a third by 2030. Most climate scientists blame greenhouse gases emitted from the burning of fossil fuels for driving manmade climate change.

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