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,
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
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.”
About Wind on
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.