E&E’s Kristi E. Swartz reports from an EPA public meeting in Georgia that Southern states want more credit for the carbon emissions reduction work they’ve already done.
There’s been plenty of pushback from the Southeast, where utilities are heavily regulated and once got the bulk of their electricity from coal. Much of the region is also rural and based on traditional economies such as agriculture and manufacturing. This means swift changes to the way states are to get their electricity end up touching — and punishing — large industries, small businesses and low-income households the most, according to the wide swath of opponents who spoke at a number of news conferences and rallies yesterday. The Southern economy has been slow to pull out of the nation’s economic recession, and shutting down coal plants would make the region fall even further behind, they said.