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State passes law allowing legislative review of emissions reduction plans

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World Coal,

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett has signed into law House Bill 2354, allowing the state General Assembly or Senate to veto – at least initially – any plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants.

Under recent draft regulations from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Pennsylvania is required to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 32% – but how this is achieved is left to the state’s Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to determine. Under the new legislation, which passed with bipartisan support, any DEP plan would be subject to review by either house of legislature.

The foundation of the bill is a process of hearings that will allow for full participation by all parties: academic, scientific, economic and government. “This will provide the necessary broad perspective to ensure that economic and energy-related questions are answered in a comprehensive manner,” said the Pennsylvania Coal Alliance (PCA), which supported the bill.

“Fundamental questions about energy reliability, infrastructure and price need to be addressed during the planning phase to ensure that, whatever strategy for compliance Pennsylvania ultimately pursues, it will result in an electric generation mix that will achieve the emissions reduction targets and maintain competitive pricing for manufacturers and consumers, said PCA CEO, John Pippy.

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