Obama to Block Construction of Coal Plants

September 18, 2013

The Obama administration plans to block the construction of new coal-fired power plants unless they are built with novel and expensive technology to capture greenhouse gas emissions, says the Wall Street Journal.

  • Tackling greenhouse gas emissions from power plants is at the heart of the climate plan that Obama announced in June, but it is politically controversial because coal remains the top fuel for power generation in the United States.
  • About 39 percent of electricity in the United States came from coal-fired plants in the first half of 2013.

The rule is also a crucial stepping-stone for the Obama administration's next big environmental project, emissions standards for the fleet of existing power plants. Obama has told the Environmental Protection Agency to produce those standards by June 2014.

Utilities and manufacturers also worry the new rules could lead to an electricity supply crunch or rising prices for consumers.

While the new rule isn't final yet and is likely to face a legal challenge, it would be another blow to the coal industry.

Source: Keith Johnson and Tennille Tracy, "EPA Plan to Curb New Coal-Fired Power Plants," Wall Street Journal, September 11, 2013.

 

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