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Local leaders split on Obama’s Clean Power Plan


From Illinois Business Journal news services

Some federal legislators are all charged up, while others want to pull the plug on President Obama’s newly announced Clean Power Plan.

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., released the following statement on the plan, which was introduced Monday and aims to reduce carbon pollution from power plants:

“The President’s Clean Power Plan represents a big, bold step in the right direction, and I hope Republicans in Congress will wake up to the reality of climate change and global warming and join us in taking action. Our generation must take these steps now to protect the world for future generations, and that’s going to mean changes. When it comes to cleaner power plants and cleaner ways of providing electricity to consumers across the country, we have the technology, we have the science, and now we need the political will.”

Rep. Mike Bost, a Murphysboro Republican who represents the 12th Congressional District in Southern Illinois, had a different opinion. He called it an onerous rule for coal-fired power plants in that it demands that generators cut their carbon dioxide output 32 percent.

“The only purpose of this legislation is to continue the Obama administration’s war on coal and affordable energy. If this proposed plan is put into place, the economic impacts could be crippling to industrial areas in the Metro East region and coal communities across Southern Illinois.

“To make matters worse, while nations like China and India exploit affordable energy sources, President Obama’s agenda has America going it alone. In the process, we are putting our economy at a disadvantage, costing hundreds of thousands of jobs each year, and increasing electric bills on hardworking families across the country.”

Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett issued the following statement following Obama’s announcement:

“Illinois is evaluating the final rule. Illinois’ priority will be to ensure that our energy sector has the flexibility needed to meet the emission reduction limits under the Clean Power Plan, while providing residents and businesses with reliable and affordable electricity. Illinois is fortunate in that we have tremendous energy diversity, and we will want to leverage our strengths.”


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