First Of Three Power Plant Emission Hearings Set For Monday

Environmental groups predict the state’s power plants will argue for delaying proposed pollution standards at a hearing Monday in Chicago.

The goal of the Illinois Commerce Commission meeting is to discuss options on how the state can comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines to cut carbon dioxide emissions at existing power plants. But groups that support those regulations say the focus should be on moving to renewable energy, not choosing between coal and nuclear power.

“This is not really about big coal…fighting big nukes over money as they both face their eventual obsolescence,” said Rebecca Stanfield, deputy director for Midwest policy for the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Stanfield believes power plants have been given enough time to implement the new standards—which won’t take effect until 2030—without affecting the reliability of electricity in the state.

The meeting is the first of three scheduled by the ICC.

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