EPA Rules Change Energy Climate in ND - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

EPA Rules Change Energy Climate in ND

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President Obama directed the EPA to find ways to cut carbon pollution.

Monday, the EPA announced its first proposed set of guidelines.


In it, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy unveiled plans to change the energy climate in the country forever.

It hits the coal industry hard...asking for a 30 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030.

(Dale Niezwaag/ Basin Electric Power Coop.) "We knew the rule was coming, we had no idea what was in it."

Now the work begins for power companies in North Dakota.

Niezwaag and others in the power generating industry have 120 days to respond to 600 pages of proposed guidelines.

(Niezwaag) "We understand that the rules are coming down and we're going to have to operate within those rules and we'll do what we can to meet those rules as they come forward."

Niezwaag saw some positives in the report.

He says the EPA gives the industry plenty of time to accomplish the goals.

And he says it treats states like North Dakota, that have growing economies, fairly.

But he reports problems too.

He says the technology to reach some of the goals does not exist yet.

And he says it will be expensive to implement.

(Niezwaag) "The burden is on us to provide the generation. The burden gets put on the consumers in the form of cost."

A cost environmentalists say is well worth it.

(Wayde Schafer/ Sierra Club) "Coal is the largest contributor to global warming and so we really need to get a handle on that and I think this rule strikes the right balance, giving the energy industry enough time to put the technology in place and at the same time it'll get the job done."

Getting the job done is one of Niezwaag's fears.

He says North Dakota is in a unique position because it has to generate more power as it becomes the home to more people.

(Niezwaag) "You look at ND compared to the rest of the country and we have got the fastest growing economy in the nation. And so for us, if you try to put a lot of regulations on there when we have to provide additional power that does put an extra burden on us."

All three members of North Dakota's congressional delegation have spoken out against new EPA coal standards...

 And with 600 pages to go through...

It will take some time to know the complete impact.


As of right now, North Dakota is one of seven states that currently complies with federal air quality standards.

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