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New Carbon Emissions Proposed by the EPA

On Tuesday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released it’s first rules on carbon-dioxide emissions for newer power plants.  Under these regulations, new fossil-fuel-fired plants must emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour.

These new regulations will probably not make an immediate effect on carbon emissions.  The Washington Post’s Brad Plummer points that the newer plants already fall under this threshold and that regulations need to focus on conventional coal plants that emit more than 1,800 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour.

Plummer continues on to say that these new regulations will make it harder to build a coal-fired plant in the United States that can’t capture and store it’s own carbon emissions. The cost of collecting carbon emissions data is high and many companies cannot justify the costs.

Chief Executive Officer and President of the American Coalition for Clean Coal and Electricity, a coalition of coal-fueled power companies agrees. He told Environmental Leader that the rule would “make it impossible to build any new coal-fired power plants.”

However, this is a step in the right direction to control carbon emissions.  These new regulations are the EPA’s way of recognizing that global warming is a problem and that the administration is looking for ways to cut emissions.

While it was expected that the EPA would be releasing additional regulations for coal-fired plants after the November election, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told The Washington Post that there are no plans at this time to address existing coal-fired plants.

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