A new report says not only are federal goals to cut carbon emissions achievable, Illinois is most of the way there on meeting those standards.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) analysis says Illinois is 82 percent of the way towards meeting the 2020 benchmarks of the Clean Power Plan, the federal target to cut carbon emissions at existing power plants by 30 percent. Steve Frankel, UCS Midwest director, credits that to Illinois’ renewable energy standards and scheduled coal plant closures, but warns the state won’t meet the 2030 standard without taking further action.
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“Illinois is on the right path,” Frenkel said, “but to really get to this 2030 number of carbon reductions, Illinois is going to have strengthen its clean energy policies to build more wind and solar to help consumers reduce their electricity usage.”
Closing more coal-fueled power plants will also help, according to Frankel.
The final Clean Power Plan rule is due this summer. States will then have a year to formulate their own plans to comply with the standards, though several states – including neighbors Indiana and Kentucky – are suing the Environmental Protection Agency to block the rule.