EPA Punts on Power Plant Regs

by Greg Pollowitz

Washington Post:

It’s official: EPA delays climate rule for new power plants

You might have been wondering whether the Obama administration was going to impose the first-ever greenhouse gas limits on new power plants, since the deadline is April 13.

We reported nearly a month ago that the Environmental Protection Agency was likely to delay the rule to bolster their legal case for imposing the new carbon restrictions.

On Friday, an EPA official who asked not to be identified confirmed that the agency would not finalize the controversial proposal on time.

“We are working on the rule and no timetable has been set,” the official wrote in an e-mail.

EPA is likely to alter the rule in some way in an effort to make sure it can withstand a legal challenge, according to sources familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the standard has not been finalized. One possibility could include establishing a separate standard for coal-fired power plants, as opposed to gas-fired ones.

The rule, which the EPA proposed a year ago, would require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour of electricity produced. The average U.S. natural gas plant, which emits 800 to 850 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt, meets that standard; coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt.

The rest here.

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