U.S. EPA Proposes Separate CO2 Emissions Standards for New Natural Gas-Fired and New Coal-Fired Power Plants
By KEVIN POLONCARZ & BEN CARRIER
On September 20, 2013, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for regulating the emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from new fossil fuel-fired electric utility generating units. EPA proposes separate standards for natural gas-fired stationary combustion turbines and coal-fired utility boilers and integrated gasification combined cycle units that are both in the 1,000 to 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour (lb CO2/MWh-gross) range. The proposed NSPS reflects a significant refinement of EPA’s legal and technical justification for the rule, compared to EPA’s 2012 NSPS proposal. The proposal is also significant for what it might reveal with respect to the existing power plant standards that EPA will propose in 2014 and that have the potential to achieve significant GHG emissions reductions from the electricity sector.