Published on September 20th, 2013 | by No Artificial0
New Carbon Limits on the U.S. Power Plants
President Barack Obama proposes the first federal carbon limits on the nation’s power companies.
According to the plan outlined by Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, new gas-fired power plants would be limited to 1,000 pounds (450kg) of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt hour. New coal-powered plans would be limited to 1,100 pounds.
At the moment, the average coal plant emits about 1,800 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour.
The limits are opposed by House Republicans and the coal industry.
To meet the restrictions, the existing coal plants would need to install new carbon capture technology, which the industry has said is currently too expensive.
President Obama has stated in the past that he wants to finish what he has called “the limitless dumping of carbon pollution” from U.S. power plants.
Furthermore, during the presidential inauguration Barack Obama stated:
“We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.
The path towards sustainable energy sources will be long and sometimes difficult. But America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it. We cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries – we must claim its promise. That is how we will maintain our economic vitality and our national treasure – our forests and waterways; our croplands and snowcapped peaks. That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God. That’s what will lend meaning to the creed our fathers once declared.”
Currently, coal-powered plants account for around 40% of U.S. electricity consumption.
The director of the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council, Scott Segal explained that the Obama administration would drive investment away from a plentiful source of power.
“I’m afraid it’s going to be illegal, counterproductive from an environmental perspective and contrary to our long-range interest in creating jobs, holding down costs and producing reliable energy,” Mr. Segal stated.
The new plan will be subject to a 60-day public comment period, and officials hope to implement it by the fall of 2014.