Obama and EPA Announce Emission Limits for New Coal Power Plants

Gina McCarthy, Chief of the EPA

The Obama administration on Friday announced that it was not backing down from a confrontation with the coal industry and would press ahead with enacting the first federal carbon limits on the nation’s power companies.

Ms. McCarthy unveiled the agency’s proposal to limit new gas-fired power plants to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt hour and new coal plants to 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide. Industry officials say the average advanced coal plant currently emits about 1,800 pounds of carbon dioxide per hour.

Opponents of the new E.P.A. rule quickly vowed to take measures to stop it. “The president’s decision today is an escalation of the war on coal and what that really means for Kentucky families is an escalation of his war on jobs and the Kentucky economy,” Mr. McConnell said. “I will file a resolution of disapproval under the Congressional Review Act to ensure a vote to stop this devastating E.P.A. rule.”

Once the rules are in place, coal power plants would be required to limit their emissions, likely by installing technology called “carbon capture and sequestration,” (CCS) which scrubs carbon dioxide from their emissions before they reach the plant smokestacks. The technology then pumps it into permanent storage underground.

Read the New York Times article here.