With a new rule coming down the pipeline, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency seems to be kicking alternative energy expectations into a higher gear. The rule would limit greenhouse gases emitted by Florida power plants by a third, ultimately urging states to make the leaps and bounds necessary to expand alternative energies, like solar and wind. By this time next year, any power plant burning coal, oil or natural gases is expected to submit a pollution reduction plan, outlining the details of this change. These power plants are believed to be the biggest contributors to climate change, and as such, the EPA has designed what some would call a controversial game plan for reduction.
In Florida, major utility companies are torn on how this will affect production and energy costs. On one hand, companies like Duke Energy have objected to the rule, suggesting energy efficiency is in the hands of the consumer, and claiming such reductions would force closures that ultimately cost customers. On the other hand, Florida Power & Light Co. claims to be embracing whatever change the EPA believes is necessary.
While it is uncertain whether or not these changes will end up costing customers more for electricity, the move toward alternative energies and limited greenhouse gas emissions is an important one. If the change is truly in the hands of consumers, the Florida public seems to have the right mindset for the change, as solar equipment sales and solar panel installations continue to grow throughout the Sunshine State. But the EPA rule isn’t limited to Florida power plants, and utilities across the country are facing similar indecision on the new rule, with advocates nationwide claiming the EPA still hasn’t gone far enough. Despite the controversy, it’s clear the rule was put in place for a good reason, and any steps toward expanding alternative energy are certainly positive steps.