Saturday, April 13, 2013

EPA delays finalizing greenhouse-gas limits for new power plants; could separate gas, coal

Today was the Environmental Protection Agency's self-imposed deadline to finalize its proposed greenhouse-gas limits on new power plants. As expected, it did not meet it.

A spokeswoman told Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post that EPA was still reviewing more than 2 million comments on the proposal. "EPA is likely to alter the rule in some way in an effort to make sure it can withstand a legal challenge, according to sources familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the standard has not been finalized," Eilperin writes. "One possibility could include establishing a separate standard for coal-fired power plants, as opposed to gas-fired ones." Gas is overtaking coal as the main feedstock for generation of electricity.

EPA's draft rule would require any new plant "to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity produced," Eilperin notes. "The average U.S. natural gas plant, which emits 800 to 850 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt, meets that standard; coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds." (Read more)

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