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A new study shows health disparities cost Texas billions of dollars; Senate rejects impeachment articles against Mayorkas, ending trial against Cabinet secretary; Iowa cuts historical rural school groups.

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The Senate dismisses the Mayorkas impeachment. Maryland Lawmakers fail to increase voting access. Texas Democrats call for better Black maternal health. And polling confirms strong support for access to reproductive care, including abortion.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Clean Power Plan Should Ease Virginia Electric Bills

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Monday, July 27, 2015   

RICHMOND, Va. – An Environmental Protection Agency plan to cut carbon pollution should actually save Virginia families money, if meeting the plan includes energy efficiency, according to two separate analyses.

Critics of the Clean Power Plan charge it will sharply raise the cost of electricity.

But research by Georgia Institute of Technology and Synapse Energy Economics finds it could actually cut utility bills by using conservation and renewable energy.

Professor Marilyn Brown from the Georgia Tech School of Public Policy says efficiency and shifting to wind, solar and biomass should make a typical utility bill somewhat smaller.

"We see a reduction of, depending on the state, anywhere from 5 to 10 percent rather than an increase," she relates.

Brown says business as usual would mean bills 9 percent higher by 2030.

The EPA is expected to announce exact details of the plan in the next month or two.

The plan to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants is part of the agency's strategy to help address global climate change.

And according to Elizabeth Stanton, a principal economist with Synapse Energy Economics, an environmental consulting firm, that would mean savings.

"Virginia households taking advantage of energy efficiency programs under the proposed Clean Power Plan would save on average $22 a month, and their bills would then be $128 a month," she states.

The big coal and oil corporations, and their allies in Congress, are waging an all out fight against the Clean Power Plan. Still, several opinion polls find popular support for EPA plans to cut carbon emissions.




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