U.S. Places CO2 Limits On New Coal-Fired Power Plants

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will for the first time begin regulating carbon dioxide emissions from new coal- and natural gas-fired power plantsunder the Clean Air Act, EPA Adminstrator Gina McCarthy announced. Speaking in Washington, McCarthy said, “Climate change is real, human activities are fueling that change,
Gina McCarthy
epa.gov
Gina McCarthy
and we must take action to avoid the most devastating consequences.” The EPA regulations, which the coal industry vows to challenge in court, will require new coal plants to emit fewer than 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, considerably lower than the average 1,800 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour currently produced by coal-fired power plants. Such limits would require the new plants to deploy carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology, which has not been used on a wide scale. The difficulty of using CCS technology will be at the heart of lawsuits challenging the EPA move, industry officials say.