Wednesday, May 28, 2014

New EPA climate proposal could spark fight over coal

New battle lines could be drawn next week in the fight over coal and carbon missions as the Obama administration and EPA will unveil their new climate proposal.

It will set benchmarks for states to reduce carbon emissions as opposed to requirements on individual power plants, according to The Wall Street Journal. States would then be responsible for determining how to meet those goals.

The biggest impact could be for state's -- like Kentucky -- that rely heavily on coal-fired power plants.

In 2012, Kentucky remained the third-highest coal producer in the United States. The Kentucky Coal Association estimates that coal mines employed nearly 14,100 individuals on-site at the end of 2012.

The association also says in 2012 the average price of electricity across economic sectors in Kentucky was 7.19¢ per kilowatt-hour making Kentucky the fifth lowest in the country.

Before the EPA's climate proposal is even unveiled, critics say the plan would lead to higher electricity rates which would mean higher costs for manufacturers.