The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced that it is requiring carbon emissions cuts from the power plant operations by 30 percent by year 2030. Carbon dioxide is one of the key elements that produce greenhouse gas. The rule is mainly aimed at more than 600 coal based power plants nationwide. They produce more than 40 percent of the nation’s electricity and contribute more than third of CO2 emissions.
Critics say this is a watered down second best solution to a dire environmental issue. They say the 30 percent reduction requirement over 15 years is based on 2005 level not the current. They say the industry is already cut CO2 emissions by more than 15 percent and basing the required cut at an earlier date will result in achieving a higher number than the actual. Some call it a numbers game. The EPA says it chose 2005 because it is the standard international benchmark. It is also arguing that the required cuts are based on other factors such as capability of states to produce power from gasoline rather than coal. Coal miners say that the current administration and the EPA are declaring war on coal industry and the requirement will result in losing more than 800,000 jobs.