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Cutting Back on Coal Emissions

Updated: Tuesday, June 3 2014, 05:28 PM CDT
Illinois must decide how to cut carbon pollution.

Illinois officials say the state will need a mix of power sources and energy efficiency initiatives to meet proposed federal limits for carbon pollution.

The Obama administration on Monday unveiled a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030. Illinois has been given a goal of limiting emissions to 1,271 pounds per megawatt hour.

That's 33 percent less than the state's emissions in 2012.

Illinois Commerce Commission Chairman Doug Scott says the state is in a good position to meet the limits because of existing energy efficiency standards, as well as cleaner coal-fired plants, nuclear plants and renewables such as wind and solar.

He says the plan also will take into account the state's economy.

About 40 percent of Illinois' energy comes from coal.

(AP) - The head of an Illinois coal industry trade group is panning President Barack Obama's plans for decreasing greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency unveiled the proposed regulations on Monday in an effort to cut power-plant carbon dioxide emissions. The Illinois Coal Association's Phil Gonet calls them "unfair." He says the rules could squeeze the supply of U.S. electricity, raising rates.

Gonet calls the issue a global one that doesn't account for storied pollution by power plants in coal-craving countries such as China and India.

And he says the EPA's push could blunt a surge in mining in Illinois, the nation's fifth-biggest coal producer.

Gonet says legal challenges could prevent the regulations from taking place, and "we will challenge it every step of the way."

Cutting Back on Coal Emissions

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