EPA Introduces First Greenhouse-Gas Limits for Power Plants

03-27-2012 // Mark Drajem - Bloomberg

This excerpt is from Bloomberg

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed the first limits on greenhouse-gas emissions from U.S. power plants, the largest source of carbon dioxide linked to climate change.

The rules will permit emissions from new power plants at 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, about the level for a modern natural-gas plant, the EPA said today in an e-mailed statement. The limit would effectively preclude construction of new coal-fired plants, which are struggling to compete with decade-low natural gas prices.

“This is an important common-sense step towards tackling the ongoing threat of climate change,” Lisa Jackson, administrator of the EPA, told reporters today. “We build on where the industry is going and lock that trend in, which we believe is an important signal for investors.”

The proposed nationwide standard is the first of its kind issued by the EPA for carbon dioxide. With the failure of Congress to cut carbon emissions, agency actions are seen by environmental groups as the best chance to combat global warming.

“This is a milestone in the fight to rein in climate change,” Joe Mendelson, climate-policy director for the National Wildlife Federation, said in a statement. “The EPA is taking a big step toward protecting the world our children will inherit.”

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