Federal government to regulate greenhouse gas emissions at power plants, refineries, and paper mills

Scott Tong Dec 31, 2010
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Federal government to regulate greenhouse gas emissions at power plants, refineries, and paper mills

Scott Tong Dec 31, 2010
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JEREMY HOBSON: Well on Sunday the federal government will for the first time regulating greenhouse gas emissions at power plants, refineries, and paper mills.

From the Marketplace Sustainability desk, Scott Tong reports.


SCOTT TONG: The rules force big, new industrial facilities to get greenhouse gas permits before they build. For the planet, it’s monumental, says Jackson Morris at Pace University’s Climate and Energy Center.

JACKSON MORRIS: We’re right there with China as far as the leading emitters of greenhouse gases. And yet we are farther behind probably than any other developed nation in doing anything about it.

The EPA says facilities have to use the “best available technology” to cut carbon pollution. Fuzzy definition, says electric utility consultant Peter Fox-Penner. So, he thinks new power plants will play it safe and use low-carbon fuels, i.e. not coal.

PETER FOX-PENNER: Whether it’s a coal plant or natural gas or wind or solar, these rules have a substantial impact in discouraging coal.

The EPA’s been busy. It’s already issued new greenhouse gas rules for cars starting model year 2012. Still, key Republicans and coal state lawmakers vow to undercut the agency. Defenders say, bring it on. The next spending bill comes in March. Stand by for madness.

In Washington I’m Scott Tong for Marketplace.

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