Due to the amount of power Missouri and the 8th Congressional District derive from coal-fired power plants, even an additional 2 percent limit to emissions is concerning lawmakers who believe a newly announced plan will hurt businesses.
Among the opponents to the plan President Barack Obama unveiled last week to reduce U.S. power plant emissions 32 percent by 2030 are U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, and U.S. Rep. Jason Smith, R-Salem, who represents Southeast Missouri. In 2014, a 30 percent reduction goal for carbon dioxide emissions was proposed by the Obama administration.
Coal supplied 83 percent of Missouri’s net electricity generation in 2013, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, and ranked 12th among states for carbon dioxide emissions in 2012, with 125 million metric tons. Electricity in the 30 counties in the 8th District is about 80 percent coal-generated.
Blunt and Smith said the plan will make electricity more expensive, which in turn will hurt companies and cost jobs in Missouri. Three coal-fired plants in the district may have to close, Smith said, further hurting employment, and manufacturers could lose a competitive edge.