ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – President’s Obama’s call for a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions in the next 15 years is stirring strong reactions on both sides of the argument.

To the Missouri Coalition for the Environment, coal is to blame for global warming and respiratory problems in St. Louis.

“We already have high asthma rates,” says Executive Director Heather Navarro. “St. Louis is a non-attainment zone for ozone. Ozone aggravates asthma, and high temperatures aggravate ozone.”

She says Missouri has become too dependent on coal-fired power plants.

“I think the impact on our health is significant,” she says. “It doesn’t matter if you live right next to the coal plant or not. We’ve got these huge smoke stacks, and it drifts.”

Missouri Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill are also weighing in.

Republican Blunt says he will fight Obama’s rule changes every step of the way, warning they would kill jobs and raise electric rates.

He says it would hurt everyday people, not big power companies.

“What the President and his advisers never seem to understand, is that somebody has to pay the utility bill,” Blunt says. “And when you have to change that plant and renovate that plant, all of that is passed along to the people who pay the bill.”

Democrat McCaskill says she is withholding judgment while she studies the proposal and gathers public input.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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