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September 20, 2013

Pollution Rules Proposed for New US Power Plants

by VOA News

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Friday proposed new rules to cut carbon pollution from new coal-fired power plants. EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said the new standards “can slow the effects of climate change and fulfill our obligation to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our children.”

"EPA is announcing the first action that we are taking under the president's climate action plan to address the most significant public health challenge of our time, which is climate change. We are announcing proposed regulations that will limit carbon pollution from this country's single largest individual sources - power plants," said McCarthy.

Power plants are the largest source of carbon emissions in the United States, accounting for one-third of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. The new plants will be required to limit carbon pollution and phase in new, cleaner technology.

Battle lines are being drawn.  

Opponents like the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington say the new standards could lead to the end of coal-fired power plants and higher electricity prices. Supporters like the Energy Study Institute say the new rule would “stimulate a more technologically innovative, resilient and competitive move to a cleaner energy economy."

The rules will be finalized after a 60-day comment period. Another measure that would require cuts in climate-changing emissions from existing plants is expected to be introduced next year.