Southern Illinois lawmakers are asking the federal government to slow down on implementing new coal emission regulations.

Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate have filed resolutions asking for more time to put together a plan on how to reduce carbon emissions. The plan announced by the president last week requires a 32 percent reduction in carbon power plant emissions by 2030.

State Representative John Bradley (D-Marion) wants 180 days to craft that.

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“We need ample time to respond appropriately to ensure Illinois coal resources are protected and utilized effectively,” Bradley says.

Most of the coal mined in Illinois can’t be used here because its sulfur content is too high – but it’s used in other states and internationally. Bradley notes coal is a big source of employment in an area plagued by high unemployment.

State Sen. Gary Forby (D-Benton) also knows unemployment is a big problem in southern Illinois.

“We’ve got prisons shut down, we’ve got prisons last year shut down, we’ve got juvenile detention centers shut down, two juvenile detention centers. Now we’re talking about shutting down my shooting range,” Forby says. “What else can you come in my district and do?”

(Copyright WBGZ / )