EPA sets regulations for carbon dioxide emissions

By WEEK Producer

June 2, 2014 Updated Jun 2, 2014 at 11:25 PM CDT

The Environmental Protection Agency will outline how it plans to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants Monday.

It is the main part of President Obama's "Climate Action Plan".

The rules outlined today aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent by the year 2030.

The president says the move will save money and improve the quality of life for Americans.

“The old rules may say we can't protect our environment and promote economic growth at the same time, but in America, we've always used new technology to break the old rules,” said the president in a press conference.

Officials say in order to meet the proposed federal limits for carbon pollution Illinois will have to use a mix of power sources such as wind and solar.

The White House Says this step is consistent with plans to reduce pollution.

“We have faith, that as the years progress it will become a consensus view in the United States, even here in Washington,” said Jay Carney, the White House Press Secretary. “We have to take action to ensure we protect ourselves here in the United States against the most serious consequences of climate change and global warming.”

The Heart of Illinois Sierra Club says this will not only be good for health and climate change but the use of alternative energy sources will create jobs. About 40% of Illinois' power comes from coal. The president of the local Sierra Club says because there are three coal-powered plants in the Illinois Valley we will see a big difference.

"It will be a better future because we won't be dealing with the incredible health care costs that coal fired power has been a burden on everyone for decades,” said Joyce Blumenshine, a Heart of Illinois Sierra Club Chairperson. “The coal fired power plants have polluted air and water and it's time that they really pay the true cost of coal."

The Illinois Manufacturers Association says this plan will cost thousands of Illinois jobs and increase costs for families.

Utility companies have until 2030 to make the changes.

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