Wind Industry Ready to Help States Meet New Carbon Emission Rules in Illinois
ST. PAUL, MINN., (June 2, 2014) – Today, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its proposed rule that will limit the amount of carbon dioxide pollution that can be emitted from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. Using the EPA guidance, states will develop State Implementation Plans (SIPs) that will be submitted to EPA by June 30, 2016.
The draft rule will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but accelerate the move toward additional renewables. Wind energy is rapidly-scalable and has zero emissions, making it the cleanest source of low-cost utility-scale electricity production available today.
“We see this new rule as a key driver for additional renewable energy development in the Midwest,” said Wind on the Wires Executive Director Beth Soholt. “Wind energy is already helping many states in the Midwest reduce carbon pollution in an affordable, reliable manner. As states consider their options for complying with the new rule, wind developers stand ready to make more capital investments, which will benefit local communities with jobs and economic development opportunities in addition to the benefits of its zero carbon emissions.”
Windpower is already dramatically reducing carbon pollution in Illinois. According to data from the American Wind Energy Association, wind generation reduced carbon emissions in Illinois by 9.73 million tons in 2013 alone. Illinois ranks fourth in the nation for installed wind generation with over 3,500 megawatts; and a study from Illinois State University found that these projects will bring over $6 billion to the state's economy over the coming decades. As Illinois policymakers consider plans for implementing these new standards at the state level, they should consider how the draft carbon pollution rules can help bring more emissions-free wind energy to the Prairie State.
“Several states are already considering increasing their Renewable Energy Standards, which in turn can help meet the requirements under the draft rule,” said Soholt. “Wind power costs have dropped 43% in just four years, and the states with the most wind energy are actually saving money on their electric bills. That’s the silver lining.”
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About Wind on the Wires
Wind on the Wires is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in St. Paul, Minn., which is comprised of wind developers, environmental organizations, tribal representatives, public interest groups, clean energy advocates, farm groups and businesses providing goods and services to the wind industry. Our mission is to overcome the barriers to bringing wind energy to market by addressing technical and regulatory issues, as well as through education and public outreach.