LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
Kentucky must reduce its CO2 emission rate by only 18 percent while some states like New York must reduce theirs by as much as 40 percent. Unlike a proposal by the National Resources Defense Fund, which wanted a strict 30 percent reduction at each power plant, the EPA regulations will allow a “fleet-wide” calculation of reductions. Kentucky can average reductions from non-coal generating sources with emission levels of coal plants.
Finally, states can count greenhouse gas reductions they've already accomplished over a 2012 baseline. That means reductions already underway from converting some coal-fired units to natural gas, idling other plants, and lower CO2 emissions from alternative energy sources can be counted toward the 18 percent reduction. Some estimate Kentucky is already about half to its goal without additional action.
RONNIE ELLIS writes for CNHI News Service and is based in Frankfort. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow CNHI News Service stories on Twitter at www.twitter.com/cnhifrankfort.