Big Coal Polluters Get a Pass in Obama’s Environmental Plan

Wednesday, April 18, 2012
President Barack Obama has assured environmentalists that his administration is serious about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But a new rule crafted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) contains a loophole big enough to drive a dump truck of coal through it.
The new regulation will require all power plants that use fossil fuels to emit only 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide for every megawatt-hour of electricity produced.
The catch, however, is that this pollution cap will apply only to new power plants that break ground more than a year from now. All existing ones, including those decades old, will be exempt, even though they produce more than 40% of carbon emissions.
This exemption has not been enough for coal-energy supporters to get behind the rule.
Senator Joe Manchin III (D-West Virginia) accused the EPA of “fully engaging in a war on coal,” calling it “an affordable, stable and abundant energy source.” If this is true, the big winners are not environmentalists, but the relatively unregulated natural gas industry because the methane gas produced by natural gas exploration and use is not covered by the Obama administration’s proposed greenhouse gas regulations.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:

For New Generation of Power Plants, a New Emission Rule From the E.P.A. (by Felicity Barringer, New York Times) 


Leave a comment