Oct 1, 2013

EPA issues rule requiring new coal plants to capture, store CO2; critics say it will destroy industry

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule Friday requiring new coal-fired power plants to limits carbon-dioxide emissions to levels that are impossible with current technology. The rule, which would take about a year to finalize, would effectively require carbon to be captured and stored. A court challenge is likely. 

EPA called the rule the "first uniform national limits on the amount of carbon pollution that future power plants will be allowed to emit," Jean Chemnick reports for Environment and Energy News. "The proposed standards are in line with investments in clean-energy technologies that are already being made in the power sector." EPA is expected to issue rules governing existing plants.

"Last year, the Congressional Budget Office concluded that it was unlikely the technology would become cost-competitive anytime soon," Brad Plumer writes for The Washington Post. "Power plants that can capture and store their carbon are initially expected to cost about 75 percent more than regular coal plants."

"The coal industry says the CCS mandate would effectively end new coal-fired electric generation in the U.S.," Chemnick writes. American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity President and CEO Mike Duncan told Chemnick, "The EPA's proposal confirms the administration is talking out of both sides of its mouth when it comes to meaningful, long-term energy policy. Despite their talk about an 'all of the above' approach to energy, the EPA is banning the construction of modern coal plants, resulting in fewer fuel choices in the market. Fewer energy choices could cause American consumers to pay the ultimate price of higher energy bills." (Read more)

"In theory, this could mean a moratorium on all new coal plants for decades to come," Plumer writes. "In practice, though, the rule may not change much. The power industry has been building very few coal plants in recent years anyway, in part because cheap natural gas has made them uneconomical. . . . Read more Shared via feedly // published on The Rural Blog // visit site