The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing new rules for new power plants that would sharply limit the amount of greenhouse gases they can emit for electricity generation.
The rules would not apply to current power plants or plants planned for construction in the next 12 months. They cover only power plants that burn fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas. Practically, the proposed rules would apply mostly to new coal power plants, since the EPA said about 95 percent of natural-gas power plants already meet the new standards for emissions.
The new standard for fossil-fuel power plants would be 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour. Most coal plants currently operate in the
1,600 to 1,800 2,200 range of pounds of CO2/megawatt hour.
Coal powers about 45 percent of the nation’s electricity, according to the Energy Information Administration. Natural gas makes up 24 percent and nuclear provides 20 percent.
In Oklahoma, there are no current plans for new natural gas or coal-fired power plants, so the proposed EPA rules would have little impact right now.
Once the rules are published in the Federal Register, EPA will accept comments on the proposed rules for 60 days. The agency also plans to hold public hearings.