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Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy signs new emission guidelines during an announcement of a plan to cut carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030, Monday, June 2, 2014, at EPA headquarters in Washington. In a sweeping initiative to curb pollutants blamed for global warming, the Obama administration unveiled a plan Monday that cuts carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by nearly a third over the next 15 years, but pushes the deadline for some states to comply until long after President Barack Obama leaves office. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Gina McCarthy stands firm in natural gas support

On Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy stood her ground as she reiterated long-held support for natural gas to meet new greenhouse emissions reduction goals.

The new EPA Clean Power Plan, also known 111D, gives states lenient options on how to address their own greenhouse-gas reduction. However, it is expected that old coal-fired plants with the means to stay on-line will switch over to natural gas as an alternative fuel. Yet, with recent observations around methane leaks, long-time supporters may find themselves questioning the EPA’s standing on natural gas.

Forbes reported Thursday that during a Resources for the Future forum webcast from Washington D.C. McCarthy stated “While it’s a great transition (fuel), and I think 111D will help accelerate that, I’m not in the business of picking winners and losers.” McCarthy went on to say she was in the business of “reducing carbon pollution, and that’s where I’m going.”

Although McCarthy claimed that the administration realizes methane is still an issue, she believes regulatory steps and isolating the root cause of leaks will help curb any challenges natural gas production may generate.

I recognize there’s lots of concern on whether or not there’s going to be too much reliance on natural gas—is that going to squeeze out the ability for renewables to move forward. But again I’d only remind you that the president’s plan and EPA’s actions is very multi-faceted. It’s not focused on any one energy supply. And as you’re looking at the numbers I think you’ll see that states are pretty bullish on renewables at this point, and they’re bullish on efficiencies. And they’re looking at all kinds of energy supplies.

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