The EPA’s Proposed Standards for Coal Power Plants Increase Pollution Without Real Justification

The public comment period for proposed revisions to EPA’s proposed emissions standards for fossil-fuel fired power plants under the Clean Air Act last week.  Emmett Institute staff have submitted two comment letters on the rule (see Sean’s post on one of the letters here; that letter itself is here). The standards—called new source performance standards—apply to new, modified, and reconstructed power plants, and would retreat from the 2015 EPA determination that identified the Best System of Emissions Reduction (“BSER”) as partial carbon capture and storage (“CCS”) for new coal units. In setting that BSER, EPA was functionally mandating that new plants do not necessarily have to install CCS technology itself, but instead must emit carbon dioxide at levels that match those of a plant that had installed partial CCS. The proposed revisions would weaken these standards and result in more emissions. The EPA should…

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