Is the end of Coal Power coming to the USA? EPA proposes new rules

MSNBC reports on EPA's new rules for Coal Power Plants.

End of coal power plants? EPA proposes new rules

By staff and news services

The Obama administration on Tuesday proposed the first-ever standards to cut carbon dioxide emissions from new power plants -- a move welcomed by environmentalists but criticized by some utilities as well as Republicans, who are expected to use it as election campaign fodder.

The difficulty for Coal Power plants is they need to meet the same emissions as natural gas plants.

While the proposed rules do not dictate which fuels a plant can burn, they would require any new coal plants essentially to halve carbon dioxide emissions to match those of plants fired by natural gas.

The pessimist view comes from the Coal industry.

Steve Miller, CEO and President of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity, a group of coal-burning electricity producers, took a more dismal view, saying it "will make it impossible to build any new coal-fueled power plants and could cause the premature closure of many more coal-fueled power plants operating today."

Other opponents of the long-delayed EPA proposal say it will limit sources for electricity by making coal prohibitively expensive.

The NRDC and American Lung Association cheered the new rules.

Frances Beinecke, president of the Natural Resources Defense Council, called it a "historic step ... toward protecting the most vulnerable among us — including the elderly and our children — from smog worsened by carbon-fueled climate change."

The American Lung Association agreed. "Scientists warn that the buildup of carbon pollution will create warmer temperatures which will increase the risk of unhealthful smog levels," said board chairman Albert Rizzo. "More smog means more childhood asthma attacks and complications for those with lung disease."

Do you get your electricity from Coal?  What happens to your electricity prices in the future?