NJ Coal-vs-Wind - My9 New Jersey

NJ Coal-vs-Wind

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Bridgewater, New Jersey (My9NJ) -

President Obama has directed the EPA to instate new carbon emissions standards on power plants.

These new regulations specifically target coal plants, because of a technical screw up last year when the administration tried to create blanket regulations, which is not allowed under the Clean Air Act. The first phase of these new carbon emission standards are specifically for new power plants, not existing plants- like New Jersey’s iconic Hudson generating station in Jersey City. However, the second phase which is planned to start next year will put regulations on coal emissions for plants that are already built.

The President, in his climate change speech, said the driving force of the regulation is the turbulent weather, which we have experienced all to well in New Jersey. "In fact, those who are already feeling the effects of climate change don’t have time to deny it -- they’re busy dealing with it. Firefighters are braving longer wildfire seasons, and states and federal governments have to figure out how to budget for that. I had to sit on a meeting with the Department of Interior and Agriculture and some of the rest of my team just to figure out how we're going to pay for more and more expensive fire seasons." President Obama said.

Today, about 40% of America’s carbon pollution comes from our power plants. CO2 comprises 80% of those gases and President Obama has targeted coal-fired electric utilities and opportunities to reduce fuel use in heavy transportation.

While New Jersey does not produce coal, we do consume it. Christine Guhl is the organizing representative of the Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign in New Jersey. She says that these new regulations are a great opportunity for the Garden State to capitalize on its wind power and renewable market. “The carbon standard will help to innovate and create renewable resources in New Jersey, and could bring thousand of jobs to New Jersey just with off-shore wind.” Guhl said.

Is this the opportunity New Jersey needs for job creation and renewable resources?

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