• EPA Issues Coal Regulations
  • September 25, 2013
  • Law Firm: McDonald Hopkins LLC - Cleveland Office
  • This morning the Obama administration released new draft EPA rules that would require all new coal plants built in the U.S. to limit their emissions to less than 1,100 pounds of carbon pollution per megawatt-hour—just over half the carbon pollution now produced by a typical coal-powered plant.

    The new rule will force owners of coal plants to install expensive "carbon capture and sequestration" technology. While the technology, which traps carbon pollution and injects it underground before it spews out of smokestacks, is commercially available, it could cost power companies billions of dollars to install.

    Today's action sets the stage for an increasingly aggressive set of EPA climate regulations on coal plants. Following this step, the EPA will start drafting a far more controversial regulation, requiring cuts in carbon pollution from existing coal plants—a measure that could lead to the closure of current plants. Obama has told the agency to propose that rule by June 2014. By June 2015, just six months before Obama leaves office, the EPA is expected to issue final versions of the regulations on new and existing plants. Those could, in the years that follow, freeze construction of new coal plants and lead to closures of existing plants.

    "Senate leaders Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell admitted they have no Plan B if the House doesn't avoid a government shutdown. Of course this raised a lot of questions, like: Since when did they have a Plan A?" -Jimmy Fallon