Energy Environment

EPA Announces Carbon Limits

Good news — the EPA has announced limits on the amount of carbon new power plants are allowed to emit.

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced updated draft rules setting a limit on the amount of carbon dioxide that new power plants can emit. As EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told the National Press Club Friday morning, these are the “first uniform national limits on carbon pollution for new plants.” Currently, CO2 is totally unregulated from new and existing power plants.

“We all know this is not just about melting glaciers,” McCarthy said. “This is one of the most significant public health threats of our time.” [...]

Some worried that the updated rules would be weakened by the revisions, but as Daniel J. Weiss, Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress said, the rules “will ensure that we will not build any more coal-fired power plants that spew unlimited amounts of carbon pollution.”

I’m glad McCarthy pointed out that this is not just about climate change.

Those who live near coal plants have a much higher chance of suffering from a wide range of health issues and regulating carbon emissions will reduce healthcare costs.

  • Schneibster

    This extremely important step will make more difference in respiratory disease costs than atmospheric carbon in the beginning. Ultimately carbon tax offsets will encourage fuel production from atmospheric carbon using sunlight. Every gallon of fuel produced from the atmosphere is an offset for a half gallon of fuel extracted from fossil sources. This can continue until the carbon load is optimal; it can then be tuned to keep the carbon load constant at the optimal level. This is how we will deal with the problem; it’s far beyond being able to fix it without climate engineering intervention. I will be frank: if we do not start this engineering quickly I expect that 2.5-3.5 billion people will die of it by the end of this century, most of them in the last few decades. They will not go quietly.

  • mrbrink

    This is great news. It’s a giant leap toward getting serious about regulating the 10 billion metric tonnes of industrial waste C02 being dumped into our atmosphere every year free of charge. Maybe we can stop the oceans from rising up and turning our asses into Atlantis before the GOP congress is arrested for reckless endangerment.

    This is a lesson in proper application of the bully pulpit. It’s a very positive development led by an administration that doesn’t get nearly enough credit for quietly kicking ass like this.

    • feloniousgrammar

      It’s also something a President doesn’t need Congressional approval for.

      • mrbrink

        Quietly kicking ass.