Florida Power Plants Called On to Reduce Carbon Emissions by 38 Percent

Categories: Environment

power-plantjune14.jpg
photo: zwanzig via flickr
On Monday, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed cutting carbon dioxide emissions from the nation's power plants by 30 percent by 2030 in an effort by the Obama administration to combat climate change.

And while Florida's governor has been going around reminding people he's not a scientist and, therefore, that technically precludes him from commenting on the harm climate change is bringing to the state, it would appear that Florida will play a big role in Obama's plan.

As it stands now, under the EPA's proposed plan, Florida would have to cut its carbon emissions by 38 percent -- about a third of what we're creating now.

See also: Marco Rubio Is Ignoring Threats to South Florida's Environment

For their part, Florida Power & Light, which has contributed a reported $550,000 to Scott's campaign, says they're up to that task -- even as many opposed to the EPA are saying the plan will cost a million people their jobs.

"These new onerous regulations will weigh down businesses and make it more difficult for them to expand here in Florida," said Tom Feeney, CEO of the Associated Industries of Florida, per the Miami Herald. "There are more cost-effective and sustainable solutions to create energy efficiency."

Just last month, the National Climate Assessment released a report that says South Florida is "exceptionally vulnerable to sea level rise."

In response to that report, President Obama announced a plan to implement EPA regulations under the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse emissions from power plants.

According to the EPA, fossil fuel power plants generate about 6 percent of the Earth's greenhouse gasses.

The EPA also says Florida's power plants produce 1,200 pounds of carbon pollution per megawatt hour of electricity. Under their 645-page plan, the state would need to bring that down to 740 pounds by 2030.

Also according to the EPA, Florida churns out 116.3 million tons of carbon dioxide from its power plants -- second in the nation only to Texas.

Under the EPA's proposal, Florida power plants would have 16 years to achieve a 38.3-percent reduction in carbon emissions per megawatt hour of electricity.

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via EPA.gov
Total U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector in 2012

The EPA, however, is giving each state the flexibility to come up with their own carbon emissions reduction plan.

Spokesman John Tupps, meanwhile, says that the Scott administration is studying the proposal.

"The Florida Department of Environmental Protection will review the EPA's proposal and will work to continue to protect Florida's environment," Tupps said in an email via the Herald-Tribune.

FPL spokesman Mark Burbriski says the power company is on its way to meeting it's goal.

From the Miami Herald:

Florida Power & Light, the state's largest energy producer, said it is still reviewing the 645-page plan. But because it has already converted its older, coal-powered plants to natural gas, producing about 35 percent less emissions than the national average, spokesman Mark Bubriski said the company is well positioned to meet the goal.

"We appreciate that the plan includes flexibility and also recognizes the state's efforts toward clean energy," he said.

Florida currently gets about 20 percent of its energy from coal. Sixty-eight percent of Florida's power comes from natural gas.


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