Letter to the editor: Clean air starts here in Kent

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to release new regulations for new and existing power plant carbon dioxide emissions, as the Clean Air Act was recently amended in the Inflation Reduction Act.

The benefits of these updated regulations include economic prosperity and job creation, better protections for human health, rapid decarbonization, and accountability and justice.

The main culprit for climate change is carbon dioxide emissions and about a quarter of all the U.S.’s annual emissions comes from the power sector. An estimated 60% of U.S. electricity is still generated by fossil fuels. Ambitious regulations could bring the administration’s target power plant emissions reduction from 66% to 77%.

The need to switch to renewable energy sources is immediate, though funding, building, and incentivizing individuals and companies to take action is a long and arduous process. In order to mitigate the effects of the lengthy timeline, it’s important to begin regulating now.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, natural gas fuels the largest share of Ohio’s electricity net generation.

Here in Portage County, the Summit Street power plant, operated by Kent State University, is classified as a natural gas combustion turbine, with a secondary fuel source being distillate fuel oil. With a 2018 population within three miles of the plant being 38,968 people and over 16,000 tons of CO2 emitted in 2019, it’s worth it to Portage County to explore what regulations can do for the area.

Kayla Adolph, Kent

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The Portager publishes a range of opinions from the community. To submit a letter to the editor, write to [email protected].