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EPA Power Plants Proposal Would Cut Emissions 30 Percent

EPA Power Plants Proposal Would Cut Emissions 30 Percent

By    |   Tuesday, 03 June 2014 12:18 PM

The EPA envisions cutting power plant carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. by 30 percent by 2030 according to a proposal put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency Monday.

The controversial 645-page plan, which is expected to be final next year, is a centerpiece of President Barack Obama's plans to reduce pollution which he says is linked to climate change and the overall health of the American people.

"It's just not good enough when you look at the projections of where we're going. For the sake of our children, we're going to have to do more," Obama said on a conference call with the American Lung Association Monday.

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"It provides a huge incentive for states and consumers to become more energy efficient," the president continued. "As a result, your electricity bills will shrink as these standards will spur investment in energy efficiency and cutting waste."

The announcement was met with unified opposition from the GOP in the Senate, which argued the EPA rule was a "national energy tax," emphasizing the impact on the economy and households' energy bills, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the proposed rule "a dagger in the heart of the American middle class, and to representative democracy itself," while House Speaker John Boehner said "the president's plan is nuts."

The new EPA rule will have a severe impact on the nation's fossil-fuel power plants, particularly the approximately 600 coal-fired plants.

Democrat's response was mixed, illustrating the growing divide in the party between the liberal-leaning green faction and those supported by organized labor.

West Virginian Democratic Rep. Nick Rahall seemed to echo Republicans when he told reporters Monday, "There is a right way and a wrong way of doing things, and the Obama Administration has got it wrong once again."

"This new regulation threatens our economy and does so with an apparent disregard for the livelihoods of our coal miners and thousands of families throughout West Virginia," Rahall added.

According to the EPA, the effort would cost up to $8.8 billion annually in 2030, The Associated Press noted.

In contrast, California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer said, "Thank goodness the president refuses to be bullied by those who have their heads in the sand, and whose obstruction is leading us off the climate-change cliff."

In response to the criticisms, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy defended the plan, telling supporters at the agency's Washington D.C. headquarters Monday, "Given the astronomical price we pay for climate inaction, the most costly thing we can do is to do nothing."

"There are still special interest skeptics who will cry the sky is falling," McCarthy added. "Who will deliberately ignore the risks, overestimate the costs, and undervalue the benefits. But the facts are clear. For over four decades, EPA has cut air pollution by 70 percent and the economy has more than tripled."

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The EPA hopes to cut power plant carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. by 30 percent by 2030 according to a proposal put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency Monday.
epa, power, plants, proposal
Tuesday, 03 June 2014 12:18 PM
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