Many utility companies and other businesses are critical of the Obama administration's recently-announced goal of cutting carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels over the next 16 years.
But some Ohio business, health and science leaders are praising the goals as important public health safeguards and a driver of investment. Steve Melink runs Milford-based Melink Corporation, a clean-energy company. He says most climate scientists agree that carbon pollution is fueling climate change and the problem will only worsen.
Power plants are the single largest source of greenhouse-gas emissions in the country, accounting for 38 percent of carbon pollution. Ohio power plants produce more carbon dioxide than facilities in all but four other states. Carbon pollution is linked to increased asthma attacks and respiratory disease. Luke Jacobs with Columbus Public Health says reduced emissions should improve health outcomes.
Steve Frenkel, Midwest director of the Union of Concerned Scientists, says this goal creates opportunities for states to move towards renewable energy and energy efficiency.
The U.S. EPA will be kicking off a 120-day comment period and a series of public hearings around the nation to gather opinion on the proposed goals.