EPA Wants Power Plants to Cut CO2 30 Percent

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The U.S. Power industry needs to cut carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels, according to new regulations from the Obama Administration.

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"Climate change, fueled by carbon pollution, supercharges risks to our health, our economy, and our way of life," said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a statement. "We don't have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment -- our action will sharpen America’s competitive edge, spur innovation and create jobs."

The EPA is looking squarely at coal-fired power plants, which account for nearly 40 percent of U.S. electricity.

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The EPA proposes more reliance on natural gas, improving the efficiency of power plant heat rates, and increasing the output of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar, Reuters reported.

The announced cuts were less than some business interests and lawmakers from coal-producing states had expected. Carbon emissions already fell 10 percent by 2013, from 2005 levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce warned that all U.S. consumers would see higher utility bills, with the rules accounting for a $289 billion rise through 2030.

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