by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
The EPA may be trying to avoid a political disaster before the rollout of major regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions from coal plants. Sources say the agency has dropped a key requirement that coal plants install carbon capture technology.
Sources familiar with the matter told InsideEPA reporter Dawn Reeves the EPA plans on ditching a de facto mandate that new coal-fired power plants use carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology — which the coal industry has said is not commercially available. …
… The EPA is expected to finalize two major regulations limiting carbon dioxide emissions sometime this summer. The most contentious of which is the agency’s rule to cut CO2 emissions from existing power plants 30 percent by 2030.
This regulation has already been subject to legal challenges by more than a dozen states along with one coal company. But before the agency can regulate existing plants, it has to create CO2 emissions standards for new coal plants.
The agency’s draft rule, however, set emissions limits for new coal plants so low that operators would be forced to use CCS technology to keep emissions below the EPA’s established threshold. The only problem with CCS is that it’s not yet commercially available.