21 Dec 2011:
New Power Plant Rules
Are Unveiled by Obama Administration
The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has unveiled long-awaited rules for the nation's 1,400 coal- and oil-fired power plants that will require much tougher pollution control equipment to reduce emissions of mercury, acid gases, and particulate matter
. At a press conference in Washington, D.C., EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson announced the new rules, which the agency says will annually prevent up to 17,000 premature deaths, 11,000 heart attacks, and 120,000 asthma attacks
. The EPA also maintains that the new rules will return financial and health benefits many times their $11 billion annual cost, including the creation of 9,000 new jobs as coal-fired power plants install pollution-scrubbing systems or build cleaner natural gas plants. Power generators will have several years to install the new pollution control equipment, which the EPA says will slash mercury emissions by 90 percent. But some utilities and Republican members of Congress have warned that the new rules will place an onerous burden on power producers, leading to the shutdown of some power plants, a loss of jobs, and possible interruptions in power supplies.
Yale Environment 360 is
a publication of the
Yale School of Forestry
& Environmental Studies
Yale Environment 360
articles are now available in Spanish and Portuguese on Universia
, the online educational network. Visit the site.
Business & Innovation
Policy & Politics
Pollution & Health
Science & Technology
Antarctica and the Arctic
Central & South America
The 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner documents a Northeastern town's bitter battle over a wind farm. Watch the video.
is now available for mobile devices at e360.yale.edu/mobile
A 2015 Yale e360 Video Contest winner captures stunning images of wild salmon runs in Alaska. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.
Top Image: aerial view of Iceland
. © Google & TerraMetrics.