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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a 30-per-cent cut in carbon dioxide emissions from the country’s existing power plants by 2030.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a 30-per-cent cut in carbon dioxide emissions from the country’s existing power plants by 2030.
(DAVID GRAY/REUTERS)

U.S. coal fighting an uphill battle

President Barack Obama’s latest crackdown on carbon emissions is well timed. Proposed steep cuts in power plant pollution are bad news for the coal industry, but the United States has cheap gas to fall back on. America’s shale dividend will offset any costs of going greener.

Coal-fired power plants will be hit hardest by an Environmental Protection Agency plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power stations by 30 per cent from their 2005 levels by 2030. The United States generates about 40 per cent of its electricity using coal, according to the Energy Information Administration.