US to limit emissions at new power plants

September 20, 2013
A coal-burning energy plant is seen onJuly 30, 2013 near Bismarck, North Dakota.

The US Environmental Protection Agency proposed Friday to limit carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants in a bid to implement President Barack Obama's plan to fight climate change.

The move marks the "first milestone" of a major part of the Climate Action Plan announced in June by the US leader, the agency said in a statement.

"Climate change is one of the most significant public health challenges of our time," EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said.

"By taking commonsense action to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, we can slow the effects of climate change and fulfill our obligation to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our children."

The plan foresees that new large natural gas-fired turbines meet a limit of 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, while new small natural gas-fired turbines would have to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide during that same timeframe.

New coal-fired units, meanwhile, would not be allowed to exceed 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour, with "the option to meet a somewhat tighter limit if they choose to average emissions over multiple years."

Together, natural gas and coal-fired power plants account for roughly a third of all US greenhouse gas emissions.

The average advanced currently emits about 1,800 pounds of carbon per hour, according to industry figures.

The proposed new standards, which will undergo a 60-day public comment period, also seek to ensure that new power plants are built with to keep to a minimum, according to the EPA.

"These standards will also spark the innovation we need to build the next generation of power plants, helping grow a more sustainable clean ," McCarthy said.

In a speech on June 25, Obama laid out a broad new plan to fight climate change, using executive powers to get around what he termed "flat earth" science deniers who have blocked action in Congress.

Officials said at the time the plan would allow the United States to meet a goal of cutting by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, a pledge Obama made at the inconclusive Copenhagen summit in 2009.

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1.5 / 5 (16) Sep 20, 2013

This standard is basically impossible, and will force much of our energy infrastructure into bankruptcy, particularly since new nuclear power won't be implemented. This is exactly what the eco terrorists want.

Coal technology is already near thermodynamic limits, but now EPA wants a 40% reduction in CO2 production (impossible) or sequester the difference (costs will be insane).

Just wait till people in these areas get their electric bills. They'll be crying.

Unlike nuclear waste, CO2 actually will try to get out of any reservoir you add it to. you can't seriously expect a cave or a well to hold this stuff forever.

Besides all that, it doesn't do anyone any good if we bankrupt our economy and our government in the process of doing all this crap anyway.
4 / 5 (4) Sep 20, 2013
Lurker: You said: "Coal technology is already near thermodynamic limits, but now EPA wants a 40% reduction in CO2 production (impossible) or sequester the difference (costs will be insane)."

Could you please explain why you think that coal technology is "already near thermodynamic limits..."

Which limits are you talking about?

Are you aware of the technologies that are available?

Please be specific because I always like to learn from those with good technical insight.
1.5 / 5 (15) Sep 21, 2013
in a bid to implement President Barack Obama's plan to fight climate change.

President Obama is a dumb ass. Simple as that. Climate change is an invention design to increase NGO and government control over the means of production.

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