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Sweeping plan unveiled to slash U.S. power plant pollution

Monday, Jun 02, 2014 - 01:52

June 2 - The U.S. power sector must cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels, according to federal regulations unveiled on Monday. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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The fight against pollution reached new heights today. A Clean Power Plan was laid out by the Environmental Protection Agency - one that aims to cut the power sector's carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent from 2005 levels by the year 2030. EPA administrator Gina McCarthy: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, GINA MCCARTHY, SAYING: "The Plan aims to cut energy waste and leverage cleaner energy sources by doing two things: First, setting achievable, enforceable state goals to cut carbon pollution per megawatt hour of electricity generated. And second, laying out a national framework that gives states the flexibility to chart their own, customized path to meet their goals." The power sector currently relies on coal for nearly 38 percent of electricity. Now states will have several ways to achieve their emission targets. Sources say these include improving power plant heat rates; using more natural gas plants, ramping up solar energy and increasing energy efficiency. McCarthy said climate inaction is costing the U.S. money: (SOUNDBITE) (English) ADMINISTRATOR OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, GINA MCCARTHY, SAYING: "As our seas rise, so do insurance premiums, property taxes, and food prices...The S&P recently said climate change will continue to affect credit risk worldwide." On the flip side, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned the rules could cost consumers $289 billion more for electricity through 2030. And could squeeze the economy by $50 billion a year. But McCarthy noted on Monday that the regulations could yield over $90 billion dollars in climate and health benefits.

Sweeping plan unveiled to slash U.S. power plant pollution

Monday, Jun 02, 2014 - 01:52

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