"March 19 News: Why EPA Carbon Rules For New Power Plants May Get Delayed"
Some critics are saying the EPA must revisit its carbon rule for new power plants because it lumped coal and gas into the same category. [Washington Post]
At issue here is a rule the EPA proposed last March that would set carbon emissions standards under the Clean Air Act for all new coal- and gas-fired power plants built in the United States. Going forward, any new plant would have to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon-dioxide per megawatt-hour of electricity produced.
Most modern natural-gas plants can meet that standard, so they should be fine. Conventional coal plants, however, average upwards of 1,800 pounds per megawatt-hour. That means it would be impossible to build a new coal facility in the United States unless it could capture and bury its carbon-dioxide — a technology that’s still very much unproven.
The problem with this proposed carbon rule, critics say, is that the EPA took a rather novel step by lumping both coal plants and gas plants together into one “source category” — essentially holding them to the same carbon standard. That’s not how this section of the Clean Air Act is usually implemented.
The question seems to be whether the EPA will delay the rule in order to separate coal and gas into different categories, or if the rule will get delayed in court.
A new study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences said the U.S. could face a Hurricane Katrina every other year. [USA Today]
The Senate will vote on several amendments today, potentially including: stripping the military biofuels program, requiring federal agencies to plan for climate change and approving the Keystone pipeline. [The Hill]
Approving the Keystone XL pipeline may not even buy President Obama any bipartisan goodwill. [National Journal]
Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO) said he would place a procedural hold on Gina McCarthy’s nomination to be EPA Adminstrator until he gets an update on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project to repair a levee on the Mississippi River system. [The Hill]
UK government plans to remove climate change from the under-14 national curriculum is facing backlash from student and environmental groups. [Guardian]
Coastal communities are continually reminded of the difficulty of adapting to storm surges and damaging Nor’easters. [New York Times]
Could the Chinese solar company Suntech’s default on its debts mean the solar industry will continue to consolidate? [Bloomberg]
President Obama’s nominee to for Secretary of the Interior will appear before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Thrusday. [The Hill]