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What is the EPA Clean Power Plan?

Did you know power plants contribute to one-third of the overall carbon emissions in the U.S.? On June 2, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed the historic Clean Power Plan to help states maintain an affordable, reliable energy system while cutting pollution and protecting our health and environment. Under this plan, carbon reduction potentials have been set for how much each state should reduce their emissions by 2030.

Each state will choose how to meet its goal through whatever combination of measures reflects its circumstances and policy objectives. It's a historic opportunity to look at the entire energy system for our state and decide how to best improve and develop our energy infrastructure while integrating solutions to reduce carbon emissions. The EPA is still finalizing its proposals to states, but it has noted four main opportunities to tackle these reductions:

• Increase fossil fuel power plant efficiency.

• Utilize more low-emitting power sources, such as natural gas.

• Increase the use of zero and low-emitting power sources, such as renewable energy and existing nuclear.

• Consume electricity more efficiently.

There will be a lot of conversation in the coming months and years around the best solutions, as well as economic and environmental opportunities for Illinois under this plan. The EPA will release its state-specific proposals in mid-2015, with Illinois' final plan to be submitted to the EPA in mid-2016. The Illinois Green Business Association will be working to bring more small business benefits to the plan. Contact us to get involved!

The Illinois Green Business Association is a nonprofit organization in Champaign that offers certification and green business services. You can contact the IGBA via their website at www.illinoisGBA.org or call them at 217-531-2179.

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