EPA Proposes CO2 Emissions Standards for New Fossil Fuel-Fired Power Generators

By  Gregory Lawrence and Athena Eastwood

On March 27, 2012 the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) submitted for publication in the Federal Register a notice of proposed rulemaking that would set standards of performance for CO2 gas emissions for new fossil fuel-fired electric utility generating units (“EGUs”) with a base load rating of more than 73 MW (the “proposed rule”). In 2009 the EPA concluded that “by causing or contributing to climate change, [greenhouse gases] endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations,” and on this basis proposes to require new EGUs to limit their CO2 emissions pursuant to the EPA’s authority under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. The EPA’s proposed CO2 emissions output standard is based on the demonstrated CO2 emissions of natural gas combined cycle generation units.  The standard is designed to reflect the emissions capture and storage capabilities of coal and petroleum coke-fired power plants that incorporate carbon capture and storage (“CCS”) technologies.  read more

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