Xcel says its ready for EPA greenhouse gas rulesby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Xcel Energy says it is well-positioned to meet new standards for greenhouse gas pollution announced Thursday by the federal government.
The Environmental Protection Agency will design rules over the next year that will say how much greenhouse gas pollution can come from each power plant and oil refinery in the country.
Xcel Energy has switched several of its coal-fired plants to natural gas already, and spokesman Steve Roalstad said the company will continue to ratchet down its pollution.
"Our goal, company-wide, is to reduce by 15 percent our carbon emissions by 2020, and we're well on our way to doing that," Roalstad said.
The EPA rules will be based on existing technologies. The agency says they'll be coordinated with new rules for other types of pollution, so companies can make cost-effective investments.
EPA assistant administrator Gina McCarthy said the rules will work with other pollution reduction requirements in a coordinated approach.
"That can really reduce all pollutants that are being emitted and do it in a way which is a sound business investment decisions, that will hopefully make these business sectors stronger, keep our jobs in place and in fact grow more jobs into the future," McCarthy said.
The EPA reached a settlement with several states and environmental groups that had sued it for not enforcing the Clean Air Act.
Some Republicans in Congress want to restrict the agency's authority to regulate greenhouse gases.