EPA announces proposal for 30 percent emissions cut by 2030

In an unprecedented effort to counteract climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, proposed cutting the carbon emissions from existing power plants by 30 percent by 2030.

According to the EPA, reducing carbon emissions by 30 percent from 2005 levels would "avoid up to 6,600 premature deaths, up to 150,000 asthma attacks in children, and up to 490,000 missed work or school days—providing up to $93 billion in climate and public health benefits."

MSU's Energy Transition Plan committed the university to reduce emissions 65 percent from 2010 levels at the T.B. Simon Power Plant by that year.

Announced Monday, the EPA's proposal is the first ever to regulate the carbon emissions of existing power plants, which, according to an EPA press release, are the "single largest source of carbon pollution in the United States."

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said the proposed guidelines will ensure a future that is less detrimental to the economy, health and environment.

"By leveraging cleaner energy sources and cutting energy waste, this plan will clean the air we breathe while helping slow climate change so we can leave a safe and healthy future for our kids," McCarthy said in a statement. "We don't have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment — our action will sharpen America’s competitive edge, spur innovation, and create jobs."

Michigan Sierra Club Representative Tiffany Hartung said carbon pollution is a prominent contributing factor to global climate disruption. 

The move to reduce carbon emissions on existing power plants, Hartung said, has been a long time coming.

Before the guidelines are implemented and states being working with the federal government on their separate plans to reduce carbon emissions, the EPA will hold four meetings around the country in July for public comment.

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