Clean coal official says possible EPA limits are too low

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The leader of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity said it will take a change in the U.S. Senate to fight back against the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s regulations on carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants.

Right now, Mike Duncan, CEO of American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity President, said it does not look good for coal.

“I’m always hopeful, but the reports that are coming out are reports on standards that are unachievable by anything other than carbon sequestration,” said Duncan.  “That’s just not scalable yet.”

Next week, the EPA is expected to propose emissions rules for new coal-fired power plants.

The numbers could change before the proposal is released next week, but a report in the Wall Street Journal indicated the EPA would propose an emissions limit of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour for new coal-fired plants and 1,000 pounds per megawatt hour for new large gas-fired plants.

“If the reports are true, the EPA has set this rule that’s going to completely halt the development of new coal-fired coal plants by requiring that they meet unachievable carbon standards,” said Duncan.  “How do you transition into something new?  You’re giving disincentives for people to invest.”

Duncan was a guest on Friday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

The new plant proposals are due on Friday, Sept. 20.  Rules for existing power plants, which generated almost 40 percent of all of the electricity the U.S. used in the first half of this year, are due by next June.

By 2020, President Barack Obama has said the goal is to cut carbon emissions by 17 percent compared with 2005 levels.

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