20 Sep 2013:
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 plants
under the Clean Air Act, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy announced. Speaking in Washington, McCarthy said, “Climate change is real, human activities are fueling that change, 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, coal industry officials say. McCarthy said Friday that the EPA will announce CO2 limits next June on existing coal-fired power plants. McCarthy’s announcement marks the first major move by the Obama administration since the president unveiled a new climate action plan
in June. Obama’s Republican opponents in Congress have accused him of waging a “war on coal” and have vowed to stop the EPA regulations, but the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 5-4 decision, ruled in 2007 that the EPA did have the right to regulate CO2 emissions as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. 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.