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.
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.