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EPA Sets Stricter Emissions Standards

Posted June 2nd, 2014 @ 5:33pm

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has rolled out new rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent over the next 15 years.


"We have a moral obligation to act," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said.


Environmental groups are praising the plan, which is considered one of the centerpieces of President Obama's climate change agenda.


"This is the single most important step our country can take in addressing climate change," said Cheryl Roberto, with the Environmental Defense Fund and a former commissioner with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.


Power plants produce about 40 percent of the carbon dioxide in the country, according to Roberto. She believes that, if done right, Ohio's economy could benefit and Ohioans could see their electric bill drop by 2030.


"It will provide cleaner air, it will provide more jobs, and it will provide a healthier economy," she said.


However, utilities and coal producers are not happy about the plans.


"People are going to see these kinds of regulations play out on their electric bills for sure," said Christian Palich, with the Ohio Coal Association.


Ohio gets about 70 percent of its electric from coal-fired power plants.


Palich says power producers have already been cutting emissions and project carbon dioxide emissions will be 19 percent below 2005 levels by the year 2020 thanks to clean coal technology.

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