EPA proposes regulations to cut carbon emissions

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WASHINGTON, DC – President Obama wants the Environmental Protection agency to cut carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent by the year 2030.

“This plan is all about flexibility,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said. “That’s what makes it ambitious, but achievable. That’s how we can keep our energy affordable and reliable.”

So what is the plan?

States will be given options for cutting pollution, such as implementing wind and solar energy or changing how long plants operate each day. The goal: to reduce carbon emissions from coal plants, not shut them down entirely.

Of course, the plan has plenty of critics.

“The administration has set out to kill coal and its 800,000 jobs,” Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) said. “If it succeeds in death by regulation, we’ll all be paying a lot more money for electricity, if we can get it.”

And the U.S. Chamber of Commerce estimates the new regulations will cost the economy $50 billion a year.

But the EPA says it will actually lower electricity bills and will lead to climate and health benefits worth up to $93 billion a year by 2030.

“Given the astronomical price that we pay for climate inaction,” McCarthy said. “The most costly thing of all we can do is to do nothing.”

The ink isn’t dry on these regulations yet – the current proposal is only a draft.

But if President Obama has his way, the regulations will go into effect mid-2015.