EPA plan aims at cutting carbon pollution
MADISON -- Environmentalists are celebrating a new Environmental Protection Agency plan to cut back on how much carbon is pumped into our air from coal fired power plants.
"It gives states the flexibility to chart their own customized path. There is no one size fits all solution… each state is different, so each state's path can be different." said EPA administrator Gina McCarthy.
So that means a combination of less use of older coal plants, and more clean energy power like wind and solar.
A spokesperson for Wisconsin electric provider, WE Energies, says the company already has two of the more efficient coal plants in the country, and has cut back on the carbon that comes out of its other power plants.
"These projects that we have undertaken so far have had an impact on customer rates. So we do need to be cognizant of that going forward." said spokeswoman Cathy Schulze.
While Wisconsin may have a head start on cutting back on some coal pollution, data from two pro-clean energy groups show Wisconsin trailing other Midwest states in efficient energy use, and power generated from cleaner sources like wind farms.
The U.S. Chamber of commerce estimates the EPA’s plan will cost the country's economy 50-billion dollars a year.
A member of the environmental group, The Sierra Club, says people in Wisconsin should see the opportunities in pushing toward more clean energy.
"Across the state of Illinois there are 100,000 clean energy jobs. That is the type of economic benefit Wisconsin could see in the coming years.” said Holly Bender, deputy director of the club’s “Beyond Coal” campaign.
Bender also predicts with the EPA’s plan, we'll soon start seeing more wind farms and solar panels popping up all over Wisconsin.