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Senate gives final approval to bill to create coal-friendly power plant emission standards

March 19, 2014 | | Comments Comments

HERALD-LEADER FRANKFORT BUREAU

FRANKFORT — The Senate unanimously gave final approval Wednesday to a bill that would let Kentucky create coal-friendly power plant emission standards in an attempt to head off tougher federal rules.

House Bill 388, sponsored by Rep. Jim Gooch, D-Providence, now goes to Gov. Steve Beshear for his considration.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is expected by June to propose strict limits on the amounts of carbon dioxide that existing coal-fired power plants can produce.

Under the Clean Air Act, the EPA treats carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere — as a pollutant contributing to climate change. The EPA proposed limits for newly built power plants in September that would cut carbon dioxide emissions nearly in half, giving an advantage to natural gas, which burns cleaner.

State lawmakers say the expected EPA limits could force the retirement of coal-fired plants producing most of Kentucky’s electricity, driving up power costs and hurting the economy. They’re trying to get ahead of the EPA with HB 388.

Filed Under: KY General Assembly

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