Obama climate change plan reactions? from yea to nay (and maybe)

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By: SGN Staff

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By Doug Peeples

SGN News Editor

 

The reactions to President Obama's Tuesday announcement of his strategy to cut carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants by tightening pollution regulations drew immediate responses from analysts, the electric industry, politicians, environmentalists and others. No surprise that the tenor of those responses ran from frenzied and vitriolic to words of praise and relief. We pulled a number of reactions from electric utilities, environmental watchdog organizations, pro-coal groups and from Washington, D.C.

 

Coal-dependent electric power utilities

In contrast to the angry language from coal-mining states, most electric power utilities responded in muted language. Most promised to abide by the rules and a few even voiced cautious optimism that the pain would be spread evenly and fairly.

 

Quoted in Power Engineering Magazine, American Electric Power (AEP) President and CEO Nick Akins said the president was taking a “balanced” approach. “As with any plan, the devil is in the details,” Akins said. Any effective EPA program should work with stakeholders and preserve “maximum flexibility within the confines of the Clean Air Act” while relying on proven technology.

 

Duke Energy, the second largest source of greenhouse gases in the US, didn't have much to say specifically about Obama's strategy, according to the Charlotte Observer. But the North Carolina-based utility was quoted as saying it will work with the EPA on a plan "that will allow us to deliver a secure and reliable supply of electricity at affordable rates and that will not adversely impact the economy." While Duke's emissions dropped substantially last year as its power plants used less coal and more natural gas, the utility anticipates emissions to increase in the years to come.

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