EPA puts foot down on future emissions

EPA puts foot down on future emissions

Summary: New carbon pollution standard would curb carbon pollution and can be met by both fossil fuel and renewable technologies.

TOPICS: Tech Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, even though it is facing an increasingly hostile political climate, has proposed new emissions standards for power plants built in the future.

The EPA hopes the move will have the effect of ensuring that new facilities will generate electricity in a cleaner manner in the past. But, anticipating criticism, the agency has focused on ensuring that its new Clean Air Act standard is already in line with emerging technologies that are American-made and that can be met by a variety of different methods that use fossil fuels. That's important, because the EPA needs to avoid taking any action that is perceived as creating higher costs for industry.

"Right now, there are no limits to the amount of carbon pollution that future power plants will be able to put into our skies -- and the health and economic threats of a changing climate continue to grow," said EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, in a statement. "We're putting in place a standard that relies on the use of clean, American-made technology to tackle a challenge that we can't leave to our kids and grandkids."

Any power plants that are being built starting in the next 12 months are exempt from the new rules.

The new rules would make it really tough for anyone to build a new coal plant after that timeframe, unless it included carbon capture technologies, but "clean-burning" natural gas generation makes out pretty well. The EPA describes the latter as "the technology of choice for new and planned power plants."

OK, everyone, have at it. I'm sure coal supporters will be really miffed, as will the renewable energy advocates who would love to see legacy coal plants addressed.

Topic: Tech Industry

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  • Only in the insane world of the environmentalist is

    plant food considered a pollutant.
    • Well

      The problem lies in the fact that concentrations of CO2 and continuous emissions far outweigh the ability of plants to eat the CO2. If there was a way to get that back in balance, everyone wins.
      • Baloney!

        The average volcanic eruption outputs far more CO2 than the total of human activity does. This is politically-driven, not scientifically-driven.
      • Techboy: Surely you're not claiming...

        ...that the smog in big cities is mostly caused by volcanoes (there must be a lot of volcanic activity in southern California and northern Utah if that's true). There was an idiot who once claimed that on this board. I hope it wasn't you.
        John L. Ries
    • This is all ...

      ... madness. It is correlation = causation type science. They find from the earth's millions of years of history, a tiny, tiny sliver of time in which CO2 rising levels correspond with rising earth surface temperature levels, then conclude, very conveniently, that CO2 drives earth surface temperature increases. They ignore other CO2 vs. surface temperature charts, which show no such correlation. It is a scam! It is voodoo science! It is anything but real!! Sigh. It is nothing more than some stupid, cult, political movement, which uses fake science, to get people to join. I have more respect for people who gather around wearing tin foil hats, waiting for the alien mother ship to arrive. At least they are more honest.
      P. Douglas
      • And the worst part of it is...

        ...it causes stupid people to reduce their fuel consumption, threatening the livelihoods of oil company executives (a key Conservative constituency).

        There are reasons why the size of one's vehicle is a political statement.
        John L. Ries
    • I don't know about that

      Nitrates and phosphates have been considered pollutants for a long time (likewise with nitric oxide, which is the principal means of putting nitrogen in the soil, but is also the primary cause of photochemical smog). Just because small amounts of something produced naturally are good and necessary, it doesn't follow that large amounts produced by human activity are necessarily benign.
      John L. Ries
  • Time's up

    This doesn't go into effect for 12 months. Lisa Jackson doesn't have 12 more months in office.
    Robert Hahn