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What Does the Clean Power Plan Mean for Pennsylvania?
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What Does the Clean Power Plan Mean for Pennsylvania?

Photo: Creative Commons
Photo: Creative Commons

You’ve probably heard about the Clean Power Plan, the Obama Administration’s new proposal to help set carbon-emissions standards.

For those of you who haven’t, here’s a quick synopsis of the Clean Power Plan:

  • The Clean Power Plan will help reduce emissions by 30% by 2030; promising a cleaner environment, and lessening health risks.
  • Every state will have a different goal.
  • Although every state must meet their federally mandated goal for reduced emissions, it’s completely up to the state on how they meet the goal.

The Clean Power Plan has caused a lot of controversy over the past couple of weeks, both inside the United States and outside it. Some states, such as Ohio, claim that the goals set by the EPA are too large and will end up hurting their economy. Others, like New York, not only support the bill but are said to have inspired its proposal.

There’s also questions regarding the uneven standards; like the highest carbon-emitting state, Texas cutting less that one of the smallest carbon footprint states of Washington. Or how natural gas is still kind of encouraged with this legislation. The Supreme Court’s decision to limit the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases shouldn’t cripple the EPA’s power, but isn’t amazing for Obama’s plan.

What does the Clean Power Plan mean for Pennsylvania?

  • Pennsylvania’s 2012 emission rate was 1,540 pounds per megawatt hours, making it the 32nd largest emission rate (pretty average).
  • Pennsylvania’s goal for 2030 emissions is 1,052 pounds per megawatt hours, meaning it has to reduce emissions by 488 pounds per megawatt hours. This is the 35th largest reduction that the EPA has set.

Philly & the Clean Power Plan

Although Pennsylvania has one of the largest reduction goals, Mayor Nutter is still optimistic and openly supporting the Clean Power Plan. In a statement released, he says that he “applauds” President Obama’s initiative and hopes that Philadelphia can continue to lead the way to a “strong, tailored approach to meet the new standards.”

In a lot of ways, Philadelphia already does this. The Greenworks plan to make Philly greener, is in progress to reduce Philadelphia’s emissions by 20 percent by 2015, a goal that was set way before the Clean Power Plan was created.

Clearly, Philadelphia is one of the cities that the EPA cites as spearheading the Clean Power Plan. This is something we should be proud of!

What do you think of the Clean Power Plan, readers?

 

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Catharine was an Editorial Intern in 2014. From growing up in Damascus, Maryland to studying Marketing and Finance at Saint Joseph’s University, she got her first taste of sustainability in Elementary School when her mother went on a recycling binge and got the family on board. She assumes she'll probably be something like that when she grows up, too. She loves her other roles as a Resident Assistant and barista at Starbucks. In her spare time, she loves to go for long runs, reading Game of Thrones, and watching Hockey. View all posts by Catharine Gaylord

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