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Energy Officials Want Stricter Emission Regulations for Coal Plants

California state utility officials want new rules to restrict emissions from new coal-burning plants. Energy officials say most coal plants produce high levels dangerous gases. KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce

Energy Officials Want Stricter Emission Regulations for Coal Plants

California state utility officials want new rules to restrict emissions from  new coal-burning plants. Energy officials say most coal plants produce high levels dangerous gases.  KPBS Reporter Ed Joyce tells us climate scientists blame those gases for rising temperatures around the world.

Energy officials want coal plants to meet stricter emission standards. State regulators say tougher standards will reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Those emissions have been blamed for global warming. The state has few coal-burning plants. But out-of-state coal-burning plants provide about 20 percent of the state’s electricity supply. State regulators are considering new rules for utilities that import power from coal plants. Eddie Van Herik is with San Diego Gas and Electric. Herik says the utility has one long-term coal contract.

Herik: This is approximately three percent and that’s out of a hundred percent that we’re using this year and certainly we will be planning to accommodate the loss of that.

The SDG&E contract ends in 2013. The proposed rules would not affect existing utility contracts with coal-fired plants. State regulators are expected to vote on the rules this month. Ed Joyce, KPBS News.