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EPA defers regulations for coal-fired power plants
Date:23 Jul 2012
The Environmental Protection Agency will reconsider and delay the final release of controversial regulations cracking down on new coal-fired power plants. In a statement released late Friday afternoon, the agency announced it would conduct a “reconsideration” of the rule, originally scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. The EPA now says it will complete the regulations by March 2013, and that the additional time is necessary because of “new information provided by industry stakeholders.” “The agency’s review will not change the types of state-of-the-art pollution controls new power plants are expected to use to reduce this harmful pollution,” EPA said in its press release explaining the decision. Under the rule — which Republicans have attacked as yet another example of the Obama administration’s hostility toward fossil fuels — coal-fired plants would be required to use expensive “carbon-capture” technology, which is still under development and has not been proven to be financially viable, to meet the new thresholds. The requirements would force coal plants to satisfy the standard of 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour, a mark that, analysts agree, is virtually impossible to meet with current, commercially available systems.