The Environmental Protection Agency will propose new rules next week banning the construction of coal-fired power plants unless they are built with new and expensive technology to capture greenhouse emissions.
The Wall Street Journal reported that those who were briefed on the rule said “even the newest, most advanced coal-fired power plants in the world would fall far short of that revised standard,” and such stringent limits would effectively “ban new coal plants, which generally release about twice as much carbon dioxide as the proposed limits.”
The new rule is “a long-awaited measure that is one of the capstones of the administration’s climate-change agenda,” and it is likely to face a legal challenge.
If the rule goes into effect, the “only way coal plants could comply is to capture carbon-dioxide emissions and stick them underground–a costly process that hasn’t been demonstrated at commercial scale before.”
The Journal noted that “utilities and manufacturers also worry the new rules could lead to an electricity supply crunch or rising prices for consumers.”
“For the first time ever, EPA is becoming a regulator of energy. The rule they’re putting out there is going to force choices as to which energy you use, and that’s a very disturbing concept for manufacturers, for businesses, for anybody that has to comply with these laws,” Ross Eisenberg, the vice president for energy policy at the National Association of Manufacturers, told the publication.
Hal Quinn, chief executive of the National Mining Association, said this proposed rule shows “the administration discounts and does not appreciate the value of coal and how it can serve the country.”
“You’re impairing the backbone of the power grid,” Quinn said.