Power plants in North Carolina could be required to “clean up their act” by 2030. The EPA has proposed the new carbon emission limits for existing power plants. If adopted, the rules are expected to help curtail global warming by reducing the pollutants known as greenhouse gases. John Robbins, owner of Greathorn Properties in Concord, says the protection goes beyond safekeeping for the environment.
“Wildlife and tourism are good business for North Carolina as well and so, by protecting our wildlife resources, the habitat, etcetera, we protect a very important economic element in this state.”
Robbins is also a member of the group, Environmental Entrepreneurs and vice chair of the North Carolina Wildlife Federation. Both groups spoke out in support of the emission guidelines under the Clean Power Plan. The rules would require that North Carolina cut its carbon emissions by almost 40-percent of current levels by 2030.
Opponents of the new EPA rule warn it will have a chilling effect on some parts of the economy, by placing a costly burden on energy providers that would be passed along to customers. Joshua Saks with the National Wildlife Federation says there were bound to be critics. “I don’t think there is any regulation that the President could put forward – even one that would give free candy and cookies to every American – that wouldn’t be assailed by certain people for purely political reasons.”
A recent poll by Environmental Entrepreneurs found 54-percent of small business owners in North Carolina believe reducing carbon pollution would be good for the state’s economy. Robbins is one of them.
“I think the potential is there for these rules to generate jobs in the renewable sector as we march towards meeting the goals laid out in the carbon plan.”
The same poll also found that 55-percent of the business owners polled want state lawmakers to take steps to address climate change. The EPA now takes public comment on the rules for the next four months.