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Wednesday 7 December 2022
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Obama’s Clean Power Plan a Win for NY, According to EPA

energia pulitaNew York is likely to be one of the states to benefit the most from President Obama’s recently announced plan to fight climate change, according to a top official from the Environmental Protection Agency.

“I think New York is going to come out a real winner in this,” EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck said in an Aug. 4 conference call with Syracuse.com and the Post-Standard.

It should be easy for the state to comply with the new regulations because it only generates about 3.5% of its electricity from coal-fired power plants at present, she explained. Moreover, the economy will benefit from jobs added in the renewable energy sector as solar and wind power projects boom.

These alternative energy sources are expected to become vitally important as states seek to lower emissions all while churning out power to meet ever-increasing demand. As of 2013, U.S. electricity use had ballooned to 13 times what it had been in 1950.

Just last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that solar power production had grown by more than 300% in New York between 2011 and 2014 — twice the national average rate — and praised the state for “becoming a leader in clean energy technology, and [facilitating] greener and more sustainable communities for all New Yorkers.”

Central New York was able to increase its megawatt capacity by 519%, and its number of installed projects by 299%, during that period.

Under the Obama Administration’s new Clean Power Plan, each state has been given an individual goal for cutting emissions from power plants. It’s up to the states how they do that; expanding renewable sources, switching from coal to natural gas, building more nuclear power plants, boosting energy efficiency, enacting carbon pricing or a number of other routes are all viable options.

States must submit their plants for reaching the goals between 2016 and 2018, start their cuts by 2022, and keep reducing emissions through 2030. If they don’t submit viable plans, the EPA will impose a federal one instead.

By 2030, the EPA hopes to see U.S. power plant emissions reduced by 32% compared to 2005 levels.

New York will need to submit its plan to help meet that goal by September of 2016. There will be a public commenting period before it is finalized.