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Reaction split over Alabama Power move on coal

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 2, 2014 at 4:31 am •  Published: August 2, 2014

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Reaction is divided over Alabama Power's announcement that it's cutting back on coal at three power plants because of federal environmental rules.

Stephen Smith of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy says the move is the right thing to keep power rates low and protect the environment.

Smith says two units being shut down at the Gorgas plant in Walker County are more than 60 years old and lack modern pollution controls.

But Republicans are crying foul over the shutdowns.

Public Service Commissioner Jeremy Oden says federal environmental rules are hurting jobs, the economy and power production.

And Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard says what calls "tree-hugging and job-killing" federal policies go too far.

The Obama administration says it wants to reduce carbon emissions to stem climate change.