EPA takes first steps to limit carbon emissions from power plants.

Guardian: “President Obama took his first real step to fulfilling his sweeping climate action plan on Friday, proposing the first rules to limit carbon pollutionfrom future coal-fired power plants. The new rules on natural gas and coal plants, announced by the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, will for the first time limit the single largest source of carbon pollution: greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.”Natural gas plants already meet the standards for new power plants, an EPA official said in a conference call with reporters. But coal is a far dirtier fuel when burned and the new standards announced on Friday will require future plants to be about 40% cleaner than the coal plants in operation today.
….The EPA will take far more ambitious, and contentious, action in June 2014 when it proposes new rules to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants, which are the country’s single largest source of greenhouse gas emissions.
….As outlined on Friday, those rules would cap greenhouse gas emissions at 1,000lb (453kg) of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt hour for larger scale new gas-fired power plants, and 1,100lb of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt hour for new coal-fired power plants.
Existing coal-fired power plants burn between 1,600 and 2,100lbs of carbon dioxide an hour, and it will be impossible for future coal-fired plants to meet those standards without expensive new carbon capture technologies.
….There are no coal plants currently using such technologies anywhere in the world. Only one is under construction so far in America, in Mississippi, with three other such coal plants planned in Texas and Illinois.
Coal-fired power plants are the country’s single-largest source of electricity, generating 37% of supply last year, as well as about one-third of greenhouse gas emissions.”