New carbon emission regulations will be announced next week for power plants, but Illinois environmental experts are already making predictions about the rules. Business groups and congressional Republicans are likely to challenge the new regulations in court. Opponents of carbon rules have argued earlier limits on auto emissions would hurt manufacturers and the economy. But, Sierra Club Director Jack Darin says in the case of the auto industry, the critics were wrong and car makers responded with innovative fuel efficient solutions. Darin says these rules might help the power generation industry as well.
"And this is a chance for us to make the transition to something that is gonna be significantly cleaner but has also positioned our business community, our energy companies, and our workforce to build those clean power sources for the future."
The Powerton Plant in Pekin is among four large coal burning stations in Illinois that will have to abide by the new regulations. Environmental groups say they believe emissions can be reduced by 35% over the next decade without hurting the economy.The rules are part of a multi-year process involving the state and federal Environmental Protection Agency. Environmentalists also say 40% of U.S. carbon dioxide emissions come from coal fired power plants.
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