Lance Brown: Coal Ash Regulation: Another Front on the ‘War Against Coal’

For three years the Environmental Protection Agency has imposed a de facto ban on new coal-fired power while doing everything it can to harm existing coal plants.” - “Killing Coal,” Wall Street Journal, April 5, 2012. 

Unhappy with the speed of EPA regulation of coal combustion by-products, a number of environmental organizations recently filed a lawsuit to force EPA to finalize regulation of coal ash.

A natural byproduct of the combustion process for coal-fired power plants, coal ash is typically stored onsite at power plants or sold on the open market for use in the production of concrete and other materials. In 2010, EPA proposed a pair of regulatory approaches for dealing with coal ash, but has to yet to decide how to regulate the material.

Nearly a dozen groups were party to the lawsuit, including the Sierra Club, the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, and the Environmental Integrity Project. 1 The lawsuit comes just days after the EPA announced plans to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from the energy sector, which the New York Times characterized as EPA’s movement toward “closing out the era of old-fashioned coal-burning power generation.” So much for Obama’s all-of-the-above energy policy.

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