KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Both Kansas and Missouri will need to cut its carbon emissions by at least 20 percent if new recommendations by Environmental Protection Agency are put into effect.
The federal government laid out a plan Monday to lower carbon pollution throughout the country. The recommendations call for a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 when compared to levels in 2005.
The EPA has proposed specific goals for each state. Missouri is one of the most coal-reliant states in the country at 83 percent coal-powered energy. The state would need a roughly 21 percent drop when compared to 2012 emissions. Kansas would need to cut 23 percent.
The EPA says a shift away from coal energy will reduce electric bills in the long run and cleaner air will save billions on healthcare.
Kansas City based energy company "Brightergy" believes the change will create new jobs.
“What that does is gives us all, as a state, as citizens of Missouri something to work towards,” said Rachel Simmons, the PR Manager at Brightergy.
The company builds and installs solar energy systems.
In 10 years, Brightergy grew from three employees to more than 65 and they're still growing.
“That increases our security and that makes it so those jobs are jobs that we're hiring right here in Kansas City, right here in the state they're not easily outsourced,” said Simmons.
However, the change won’t be easy.
Lawmakers like U.S. Senator Roy Blunt say the reduction will cost American businesses more than $50 billion a year .
In a statement Blunt said, "I will fight the president and his administration every step of the way to stop this unprecedented power grab and protect Missourians."
States have a few years to submit their plan to lower carbon dioxide emissions.