The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking comments and information now on a proposal to cut carbon pollution from new power plants. The proposed Clean Air Act standards are geared to improve public health and attempt to lessen climate change.
The EPA wants to also establish pollution standards for existing power plants creating a cleaner power sector.
The proposal would require that "new large natural gas-fired turbines would need to meet a limit of 1,000 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, while new, small, natural gas-fired turbines would need to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour. New coal-fired units would need to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, and would have the option to meet a somewhat tighter limit if they choose to average emissions over multiple years, giving those units additional operational flexibility," the EPA said.
EPA administrator Gina McCarthy said, "These standards will also spark the innovation we need to build the next generation of power plants, helping grow a more sustainable clean-energy economy."
The EPA states that power plants "are the largest concentrated source of emissions in the United States, together accounting for roughly one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions."
Some are asking the EPA to set requirements that would force coal-fired power plants to install better filters and scrubbers rather than cutting back on the number of power plants using coal. The goal is to have better air quality and save coal mining jobs.