Obama to Bypass Congress, Put Limits on Power Plants
EPA to make announcement today
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 20, 2013 6:08 AM CDT
In this Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009, file photo, a flock of geese fly past a smokestack at the Jeffery Energy Center coal power plant near Emmitt, Kan.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

(Newser) – For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency will set limits on the greenhouse gases power plants can emit. Today, the agency will announce that new coal plants' carbon emissions must stay below 1,100 pounds per megawatt hour, while new natural gas plants must maintain emissions below 1,000 pounds per megawatt hour (rules for existing plants are due in June). Many natural gas plants already keep to the specified limit, but for coal plants, the new rules "effectively require partial carbon capture and sequestration," says a White House official.

In other words, future coal plants will have to use expensive (and, in their telling, unproven) technology to catch carbon emissions and store them underground so they don't get into the atmosphere, the Daily Beast reports; according to Politico, they'll have to sock away at least 40% of their carbon emissions. Will the environment thank us? The Beast isn't so sure: Because natural gas is cheap these days, building a new coal plant already isn't cost-effective. Still, Politico sees the Obama administration launching a key salvo in the climate-change fight—without Congress (Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell last night slammed Obama's "war on coal.") Court fights over the regulations are likely, especially as they set the stage for the June announcement regarding existing plants, which are the country's biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions.

More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Obama to Bypass Congress, Put Limits on Power Plants is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 117 comments
Oct 3, 2013 10:28 PM CDT
all right, enough is enough! who does this punk think he is? he repeatedly ignores the US constitution and looks for ways around this precious document, he routinely issues executive orders to get around the rules of law, he's created 4 dozen new 'czar' positions of power without any vetting process or input from congress (does anyone know what they're up to, how many people work under them or what their budgets are?), and he repeatedly threatens to bypass the congress just like he's doing here. how much longer do we have to put up with this worthless doofus who's no more presidential than snoop doggy dog is! when is someone going to grow a spine, put their foot down for justice, and file articles of impeachment against this bum?
Sep 29, 2013 6:54 AM CDT
And the dictator continues his unconstitutional grabs and a spineless Congress watches. Obama lovers rejoyce and have no idea they're getting the sfaft with everyone else.
Sep 28, 2013 1:49 AM CDT
Too little too late but at least he's making a token effort.