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In tackling its carbon footprint, Asheville, NC, asks energy giant Duke to cut coal reliance

ASHEVILLE, N.C. – When the city of Asheville launched an ambitious plan to slash its carbon footprint, an obstacle stood in its way: A massive coal-fired plant on the edge of town.

So Asheville took its next step: passing a resolution asking Duke Energy to reduce its reliance on coal. Scientists say coal plants emit carbon dioxide, global warming’s primary cause.

In a way, Asheville’s resolution is symbolic. The city can’t force Duke to stop using coal at its Asheville Plant. But environmental groups praised the move, saying it would move Asheville from coal-fired electricity toward a clean energy future.

Duke says it’s been working with Asheville for years to reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

Asheville joins a debate playing out in cities across the U.S. over coal-fired plants and their environmental effect.