Kentucky seems to have always been on the same page as the EPA. Last year, the Kentucky Energy and Environment Secretary Leonard Peters submitted a white paper to the EPA, which included suggestions similar to the EPA’s newly proposed Clean Power Plan proposal. Peters’ end-goal was to secure Kentucky’s 220,000 manufacturing jobs from skyrocketing power costs that could take part of the energy industry overseas.
What many fail to understand is that the EPA’s new rules aren’t placing strict carbon limits on existing power plants. States like Kentucky, where coal is the bread and butter of the economy, won’t be forced to close and change their coal-fired power plants.
Rather than shut down existing power-plants, the EPA will give each state an individual target for decreasing carbon emissions by 2030. The EPA will also provide different approaches for the states, such as energy efficiency and converting to renewable energy. Peters promoted these methods in his white paper, agreeing that it will be easy for Kentucky to become more energy efficient, as electricity has always been cheap in the state.
The EPA is giving states like Kentucky more time to employ coal-free energy methods, requiring that Kentucky reduce its carbon emissions by 18 percent by 2030, which will successfully limit emissions. Each state has its own individual percentage.
The EPA’s proposal will reduce the US’s coal-use from 40 percent to 30 percent in 2030. However, in reference to global efforts and the US in particular, the EU’s Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said that such attempts might not be enough to battle climate change.
People from all political parties support curbing greenhouse gas emissions, including 57 percent of Republicans, 76 percent of independents, 79 percent of Democrats, and 50 percent of Tea Party supporters.
Developed and Written by Dr. Subodh Das and Tara Mahadevan
June 10, 2014
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