- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 5, 2015

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina lawmakers are easing up on their opposition to new Obama administration clean smokestacks rules to prevent the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from imposing a state plan.

The state Senate on Wednesday altered legislation that would have barred state agencies from implementing the EPA clean power plan until court challenges are resolved or next July, whichever is later. Any state that doesn’t file a plan or submits one that is unworkable will be forced to use a federal model.

The measure headed to the state House directs environment and utilities regulators to develop a plan which focuses only on making existing fossil-fuel-burning plants more efficient.

Gov. Pat McCrory has promised a lawsuit to block the EPA rules aimed at cutting nationwide carbon dioxide emissions by 32 percent by 2030.

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