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“The polar vortex last winter demonstrated the value of America’s diverse electricity portfolio,” said Heath Knakmuhs, senior director of policy at the U.S. Chamber’s Energy Institute. “The colder temperatures in some parts of the country stretched natural gas demand, and utilities turned to coal to provide power. While increasing natural gas production is a very good thing for our economy and our security, it should not be at the expense of other sources,” Knakmuhs added.

A coalition of top business groups expressed rising concerns over the Environmental Protection Agency’s plans to cut carbon emissions from existing power plants, demanding more time Tuesday to respond and eyeing a legal battle against the Obama administration if necessary.

Industry groups are pressing Secretary of State John Kerry to resume and complete the final review of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that his department halted earlier this year.

President Barack Obama once promised he would make electricity prices “necessarily skyrocket.” Earlier this month, he delivered on his word. Starting next year, the Environmental Protection Agency will force Georgia’s power plants to cut carbon emissions by 44 percent.

The state Senate Environmental Resources and Energy Committee, chaired by Sen. Gene Yaw, R-23, held the first of two public hearings Friday morning to discuss the federal Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) plan to cut carbon pollution from nationwide power plants by 30 percent in 2030, compared to 2005 levels. Earlier this month, the EPA proposed its Clean Energy Policy as part of President Barack Obama's Action Plan to address climate change.

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