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Pa. asks feds for flexibility in power plant emissions rule changes

| Friday, April 11, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

Pennsylvania wants federal regulators to consider input from states and be more flexible as the government writes new rules limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

State Department of Environmental Protection Secretary Christopher Abruzzo sent a letter and white paper to the Environmental Protection Agency outlining an argument to rethink the rule-making process.

“EPA should establish targets for reductions, rather than mandate pathways to achieve them,” he wrote. “A flexible approach avoids picking ‘winners and losers' and empowers states to design the most cost-effective compliance options for their constituents.”

The EPA did not respond to a request for comment.

Utilities and many Republicans have blasted the Obama administration for its drive to reduce emissions through EPA regulations that they say will force coal-fired plants to close. Utilities are closing coal plants and building plants fueled by other sources for several reasons, including more stringent emission rules and cheaper fuels such as natural gas.

EPA issued proposed rules for new plants in January and expects to release draft regulations for existing plants this summer.

David Conti is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Reach him at 412-388-5802 or dconti@tribweb.com.

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