EPA bullies its way to first CO2 emissions limit

The EPA is finally getting around to setting limits on greenhouse gas emissions from stationary sources, like power plants — coal industry watch out.

Although Utah regulators had refused to surrender to EPA demands in setting a numerical limit for PacifiCorp’s proposed Lake Side gas-fired power plant, PacifiCorp decided that appeasing the EPA was the best way to get the project going, according to the Clean Energy Report.

Lake Side will be limiting CO2 emission at a rate of 950 pounds per megawatt-hour averaged on a 12-month rolling basis.

This of course begs the question, what does this limit mean for the coal industry? Coal-fired plants emit more than 2,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour and operate at higher average capacity than gas-fired plants (73% vs. 42%).

So if the Lake Side limit becomes a precedent or standard for power plant emissions, coal-fired electricity production could be significantly constrained.

What would be the rationale, after all, of permitting a similar sized coal-fired power plant to emit more than twice as much CO2? Other than arbitrariness, none. Certainly the enviros will point this out in lawsuits.

14 thoughts on “EPA bullies its way to first CO2 emissions limit”

  1. What is it going to take to stop all this CO2 nonsense. Can someone out there think up a new hobby horse for the idiots or cunning manipulators out there to get stuck into – They recently tried the new breed of flu from Mexico but that died a natural death (no pun or similar intended) Ever since I was a child they have been having a go at something or other – first I remember was the devastating effect upon the weather that the A-Bomb testing was having – so put on your thinking caps guys and gals and come up with something that will get these bankers (sorry for the spelling mistakes) off our collective backs!

  2. Looking in from outside the USA I can’t help but wonder why Obama is trying destroy the American economy. CO2 is so yesterday lol. Of course Obama is never wrong so I guess that must be it.

  3. Those idiots. They rolled and gave the EPA a BACT limit that can be applied, or attempted, elsewhere.

  4. The debate in the scientific community is over. This year’s International Conference on Climate Change will be the death knell of catastrophic anthropogenic global warming/climate change/disruption. This conference will highlight conclusions of the major climate realists who represent the views of the majority thousands of scientists against the scant few scientists who are in the hip pockets of EPA and the IPCC. It is now time to start mocking the leftist scientists and CAGW policy makers for the fools that they are. The EPA madness will not cease until either Congress DOES something to reverse EPA’s alteration of the CAA statute or, an intelligent President is chosen to replace Obama.

  5. Yep. This means the last new/modified coal power plant until natural gas prices “necessarily skyrocket” to the point that coal with CCS is economically equivalent. Alstom Power just declared “success” for CCS at AEP’s Mountaineer Station. Coal with CCS is monstrously expensive. It will be a long time before the cost of combined cycle gas (CCG) plants equals that of coal with CCS. And even then, coal/CCS would still have to compete with CCG/CCS. Get ready for natural gas prices to go thru the roof. And all this in the name of pseudo-science.

  6. The Federal government is running out of money. Other than raising taxes the only ‘adjustible’ revenue stream they have is punitive litigation. Unfortunately the litigation stream is subject to major drains via legal fees and court expenses. It also takes many years to obtain a judgement. If the award is excessive, the defendant can file for bankruptcy, which delays (perhaps indefinitely) the cash flow.
    Eventually the Federal government will be unable to sustain itself financially, and will collapse when payrolls are no longer met.
    Enforcement of these draconic ‘regulations’ intended to generate new revenue sources for the spendaholic government will become moot.
    And the ‘problems’ the regulations were nominally intended to solve will remain…

  7. Its one thing to elect or vote something into existence. Its quite another to have it unilaterally foisted upon you. I honestly hope the Power Companies just lie to the EPA and proceed as usual. The government has a habit of doing that, why not private industry

  8. We need collusion from the power companies! When they reach their ‘goal’ CO2 limit, shut down the plant. When enough people are sitting in the dark and freezing their a$$es off maybe the Congress will come to their senses and shut down the EPA!

  9. “This of course begs the question, what does this limit mean for the coal industry?”
    hey, fellas, your writings are great…well reasoned and rigorous. but i must call your attention to your usage of the phrase “beg the question”. this phrase does NOT mean “RAISE the question”. it’s a usage in philosophical logic that means that a statement assumes something that is not in evidence. too many people misuse this phrase, and by dirtying it up this way, it will eventually lose its true meaning, and a useful concept in serious discussion may thus be curtailed.

  10. According to their own rules on how to conduct a best available control technology (BACT) analysis, EPA is not allowed to select the fuel or the type of furnace that will burn it. But once those have been selected, then they will require numerical limit like they did in Utah. So you can still license a coal plant, even if it produces more than twice the CO2 per megawatt over a combined cycle gas turbine. This is a consequence of using the Clean Air Act to regulate GHGs, which the Congress that passed it never intended. It’s like digging a hole with an axe, it is the wrong tool for the job.

  11. Actually, EPA will require an economic, environmental, and energy impacts for all options, including using alternative fuels. It is up to the permittee to provide the case for why a coal plant would be better than a gas plant. E.g., NG may not be accessible resulting in added cost to provide distribution infrastructure.

  12. Rationing electric power will cause a massive increase in outsourcing jobs.
    I think that is the reason for this CO2 scam.
    Our Communist Government is redistributing Industrial jobs so the source of America’s affluence is destroyed.

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