Obama set to ban new coal plants?

Obama may make good on his 2008 promise to bankrupt anyone who wants to build a coal plant.

Greenwire reports,

When U.S. EPA proposes a rule regulating carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants this month, environmentalists hope it ensures that new coal-fired generators will come equipped with technologies for capturing and storing carbon…

EPA sent its proposed rule for new and modified electric utilities to the Office of Management and Budget in November for a final review, and the agency says it expects to release the proposed rule this month…

The proposed standard for new power plants is also six months behind schedule, but environmentalists say they hope EPA will use that extra time to craft a stringent new standard that will make a lasting shift in America’s energy portfolio…

“What we’ve been recommending is a standard that reflects the performance of well-controlled, efficient gas turbines,” said David Doniger, policy director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s climate program. Such a standard would not allow new coal-fired power plants to be built without carbon capture and storage (CCS), though Doniger noted that few new coal plants are currently in the pipeline…

If EPA comes through with a standard that meets that goal, he added, “the environmental community would be very supportive of it.”

Vickie Patton, general counsel for the Environmental Defense Fund, said the technological groundwork has already been laid to allow coal-fired power plants to use CCS and achieve the same emissions cuts as a combined cycle gas plant.

So what does this mean?

But industry representatives say that if EPA takes environmentalists’ advice and requires coal plants to meet the same standards as low-emissions gas plants, it will amount to a ban on new coal power generation — something the Obama administration should be wary of proposing in an election year.

Jeff Holmstead, who headed EPA’s air office in the George W. Bush administration and now represents utility companies at Bracewell & Giuliani, said EPA regulations require the agency to craft different New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) to fit different fuels.

“I don’t think it will be legally permissible for EPA not to have these different standards,” he said.

Apparently Holmstead still fails to grasp that the Obama EPA cares little for legality (witness its Tailoring Rule, in which EPA changed the law on its own!).

Also, carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is total nonsense.

3 thoughts on “Obama set to ban new coal plants?”

  1. Since when has Obama and the rest of his Chicgo thug administrastion cared about the law (or the Constitution for that matter)? Unfortunately, we only have the Stupid Party as the only defense against this insanity and lawlessness. We are in even deeper trouble than a ban on coal-fired power plants. So far, I don’t see much to be encouraged about.
    Holmstead is just the latest case in point.

  2. EPA has already admitted that carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) is not yet “available” as part of the “Best Available Technonolgy” defined in the regulations. They do not have a clue on how to regulate CO2 without a technology they can mandate. I am afraid they wil just come out with a draft regulation that is impossible to implement and expect the commenting period to give them cover to fix it later. But this is a different animal, I am not sure how it will go. One thing for sure, it will end up in court.

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