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US EPA announces rules to curb coal emissions

World Coal,

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced its proposal to limit emissions from new coal-fired power plants to 1100 lb of CO2/MWh.

Strict limits on coal

The proposed limits are harsher than expected and far below the 1800 lb of CO2/MWh emissions of an average advanced coal-fired power plant meaning new coal-fired power plants would have to incorporate carbon capture and storage technology (CCS).

According to an EPA press release, the proposal achieves the first milestone outlined in President Obama’s June 25 Memorandum to EPA on Power Sector Carbon Pollution Standards, a major part of the President’s Climate Action Plan.

War on coal

Responding to the announcement, West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin denounced the proposals as holding the coal industry to impossible standards: “Never before has the federal government forced an industry to do something that is technologically impossible. Forcing coal to meet the same emissions standards as gas when experts know that the required technology is not operational on a commercial scale makes absolutely no sense and will have devastating impacts to the coal industry and our economy.”

“It’s just common sense to […] accept that coal is, and will be for the foreseeable future, a significant part of our energy mix,” Manchin continued, pointing out that coal generates 40% of US electricity and will continue to be a major source of power for decades to come.

Edited from various sources by Jonathan Rowland

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