Report: EPA may weaken its carbon rules for new power plants
The EPA’s proposed carbon rules for new power plants would effectively prohibit new coal-fired power plants in the United States for the foreseeable future.
As written in the draft proposal, the rules — the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for carbon dioxide — would require that all new coal-fired power plants meet a standard of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour of power produced, which is on the high end of what an average natural gas plant produces.
The average US coal plant currently emits around 1,800 lbs/MWh. So to hit the standard in the new rule, a new coal plant would have to bury at least some of its CO2 emissions using carbon capture and sequestration (CCS), which is extremely expensive. The practical effect of such a standard, in the absence of a fairly high carbon tax or a low carbon cap, would be to price new coal completely out of the market.
But now it seems EPA may drop CCS from NSPS! OMG.