EPA Standards for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Power Plants: Many Questions, Some Answers [September 30, 2013]   [open pdf - 327KB]

From the Summary: "As President Obama announced initiatives addressing climate change on June 25, 2013, a major focus of attention was the prospect of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission standards for fossil-fueled--mostly coal-fired--electric generating units (EGUs). EGUs (more commonly referred to as power plants) are the largest anthropogenic source of greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for about one-third of total U.S. GHGs. If the country is going to reduce its GHG emissions by significant amounts, as the President has committed to do, emissions from these sources will almost certainly need to be controlled. The President addressed this issue by directing EPA to re-propose GHG emission standards for new EGUs by September 20, 2013. He also directed the agency to propose guidelines for existing power plants by June 2014, and finalize them a year later. EPA had already proposed standards for new sources in April 2012, but the public comment period had generated more than 2.5 million comments--the most ever for a proposed EPA rule--and the agency had not yet finalized the rule. The re-proposed standards were released September 20. They would set an emissions limit of 1,100 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity generated by new coal-fired EGUs, and a standard of either 1,000 or 1,100 lbs/MWh (depending on size) for new natural gas-fired plants."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43127
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