EPA rules threaten older power plants

WASHINGTON (AP) - An Associated Press survey finds that new federal air pollution regulations will force the shut-down of more than 32 mostly coal-fired power plants in a dozen states and an additional 36 might have to close.

The survey finds that together, those plants - some of the oldest and dirtiest in the country - produce enough electricity for more than 22 million households, but their demise probably won't cause homes to go dark.

The survey, based on interviews with 55 power plant operators and on the Environmental Protection Agency's own predictions, rebuts claims by critics who say the EPA rules will kill coal as a power source and force blackouts.

The fallout will be most acute for the towns where power plants are located and the impact will be in terms of lost jobs and tax revenues. Electric bills are likely to rise.

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