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State hearing to focus on cutting greenhouse gases 

coal

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois Commerce Commission is holding hearings on how to reduce the state’s global warming pollution.

Monday’s meeting is the first of three to determine how to meet tougher federal limits on greenhouse gases. It’s part of a sweeping initiative to curb carbon dioxide emitted by the nation’s power plants 30 percent by 2030. Each state has a customized goal — Illinois’ is 33 percent.

State officials and environmentalists say Illinois should be able to meet the limits with a mixture of power sources and energy-efficiency initiatives.

Almost 49 percent of Illinois’ power came from nuclear and 41 percent from coal-fired plants in 2012. Renewable energy and natural gas supplied the rest.

The coal industry says the new rules could force power plants to close and hurt the electricity supply.

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