EPA Rules Coal Plants Must Limit CO2

  • Published on November 13th, 2008

[social_buttons] Huh, maybe a clean energy future does lie ahead. The Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) ruled today that the EPA had no valid reason for refusing to limit from new coal-fired power plants the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.

The board sided with the Sierra Club and found that since Massachusetts v EPA Supreme ruled that Carbon Dioxide is a pollutant under the Clean Air Act, new coal-fired power plants must implement Best Available Technology for controlling CO2.

What? The EPA cannot refuse to protect the environment? Awesome!

This decision means that all new and proposed coal plants nationwide must readdress their carbon dioxide emissions.

“Today’s decision opens the way for meaningful action to fight global warming and is a major step in bringing about a clean energy economy,” said Joanne Spalding, Sierra Club Senior Attorney who argued the case. “This is one more sign that we must begin repowering,  refueling and rebuilding America.”

The EAB shot down every lame Bush excuse for failing to regulate what is the largest source of greenhouse gases in the United States. This should make things easier for when Obama takes over – and am I the only person that wants that to happen…like now?

According to the Sierra Club, coal emits 30% of our nation’s global warming pollutants. And this was an issue, why? “Everyone has a role to play and it’s time that the coal industry did its part and started living up to its clean coal rhetoric,” Bruce Nilles, Director of the Sierra Club’s National Coal Campaign, went on to say.

Source: Sierra Club |  Image: Jan Tik on Flickr under Creative Commons

About the Author

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.


  • Thanks for reporting on this case. The EAB decision gives the Obama Administration a clean slate to decide how to address carbon dioxide emissions from new and modified coal-fired power plants. It does not, however, mandate best available control technology for CO2 emissions. The EAB rejected the EPA's reasoning for not requiring CO2 emissions limits, and told the agency to go back to the drawing board. As a practical matter, this means the the next administration will decide the issue for the nearly 100 proposed coal plants that do not yet have final permits.

  • As long as the U.S. government is going to license and tax small nuclear plants for every neighborhood, it makes good sense for them to tax coal burning power plants out of existence! The spent nuclear fuel from the many small plants cn be used to fuel bigger ones! a win – win so far? but what to do with the spent fuel from the big plutonium plants? I am certain that many very smart scientists from China will find the answer,and it will involve a higher chemistry than ours and reuse as fuel, the potential is their, this is a miracle fuel, and along with wind, solar, wafve and geothermal fuels the carcinogenic benzine molecule containing petroleum oils we are now addicted to will be elimi8nated along with any notion the OPEC boys might have had in using the U.S. Armies for world domination! When the U.S.A. grows up and learns to use coal safely as a fuel we will use it too, but for now, it is as dangerous to us as oil. By concentrating on using Compressed Natural Gas and plug ins for our personal transportation needs, and small local nuclear plants with low transmission losses and costs we can break into the 21st century as leaders in innovation a design. We must shed our 1930's based automotive technologies for carbon fiber, polymer composite hybrid plug in vehicles of practical size and use the surplus electricity from local nuclear plants to charge their batteries. Coal has become the fuel for future development!

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