CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Federal EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is set to release carbon emissions limits on existing power plants during a news conference Monday morning at EPA headquarters. Reports Sunday evening indicated the draft proposal’s goal would be to cut emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
U.S. Senator Joe Manchin is confident the EPA’s plan won’t bode well for West Virginia and its coal industry.
“This administration has had blinders on when it comes to looking at the reliability of the system, the reliability of the grid system, what it takes to run the energy that this nation needs,” Manchin told reporters Friday in anticipation of Monday’s announcement.
Obama has been very clear from the start of his administration he wants to make serious cuts to carbon emissions that he believes leads to global warming. The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday the proposed rule would be the strongest action ever taken by the federal government to fight climate change.
Manchin said Obama is after the unattainable and is attacking coal to go after it.
“In a perfect world, they want absolutely no emissions whatsoever. In a perfect world, that would be great,” said Manchin. “We don’t live in a perfect world!”
Manchin said the EPA has not been willing to compromise by using a combination of energy sources from coal to natural gas, hydro to wind and solar power. He stressed the administration has even been unwilling to get behind clean coal technology. The West Virginia senator said fueling the country is going to take compromise.
“We have the ability to do it even better if we get everyone working in a direction that’s going to be improving versus denying. That’s what I have a problem with,” according to Manchin.
He said he has no idea exactly what the new policy will include but he has a good bet.
“I’m not holding my breathe to believe this administration is going to come to a balance.”
The WSJ report Sunday did indicate states would have a number of options to meet the emissions cut and would not have to immediately closed coal-fired plants. Cap-and-trade programs would also be an option.
The EPA will spend the next year gathering comments on the proposal before making a final decision in 2015.