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coal power plant

Clean Power Plan Mandates Steeper Carbon Cuts

coal power plantThe Obama administration released the final version of the Clean Power Plan today and it sets even stricter emissions regulations than the proposal announced last year.

The regulation, which aims to cut carbon pollution from power plants, cuts emissions 32 percent by 2030 from levels recorded in 2005. The draft rule proposed a 30 percent reduction.

The final Clean Power Plan also gives states more flexibility to meet the ambitious carbon standards: they must comply by 2022 instead of 2020 and the emission reductions are phased in on a “gradual glide path” to 2030.

Response from industry has been mixed.

On Friday, 365 companies and investors including General Mills, Mars, Nestle, Staples, Unilever and VF Corporation sent letters voicing their support for the EPA’s Clean Power Plan for existing power plants and encouraging the state’s “timely finalization” of state implementation plans to meet the new standards. Ceres organized the letter campaign.

The National Association of Manufacturers, however, said the rule will threaten manufacturers’ competitiveness.

“This regulation will be exceptionally difficult for manufacturers to meet and will increase energy prices and threaten electric reliability,” said NAM president Jay Timmons. “Manufacturers are committed to being responsible stewards of our environment, leading the way in that effort, and we are disappointed the Obama administration has chosen to pursue this path.”

Similarly, the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity blasted the power-plant rule, saying it will cost businesses billions and won’t improve climate change.

“Even in the face of damning analyses and scathing opposition from across the country, EPA’s final carbon rule reveals what we’ve said for months — this agency is pursuing an illegal plan that will drive up electricity costs and put people out of work,” said Mike Duncan, president and CEO of ACCCE.

Photo Credit: coal power plant via Shutterstock

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