Friday, November 14, 2008

EPA: Coal Plants MUST limit CO2


Sierra Club
press release: November 13, 2008

In a move that signals the start of our clean energy future, the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Appeals Board (EAB) ruled today EPA had no valid reason for refusing to limit from new coal-fired power plants the carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming. The decision means that all new and proposed coal plants nationwide must go back and address 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 rejected every Bush Administration excuse for failing to regulate the largest source of greenhouse gases in the United States. This decision gives the Obama Administration a clean slate to begin building our clean energy economy for the 21st century,” continued Spalding.

The decision follows a 2007 Supreme Court ruling recognizing carbon dioxide, the principle source of global warming, is a pollutant under the federal Clean Air Act.

“Instead of pouring good money after bad trying to fix old coal technology, investors should be looking to wind, solar and energy efficiency technologies that are going to power the economy, create jobs, and help the climate recover,” said Bruce Nilles, Director of the Sierra Club’s National Coal Campaign. Read more HERE.

Associated Press reports: "All permits in the pipeline are now stymied," said Jason Hutt, an attorney representing a number of utilities, merchant energy developers and refineries seeking permits. He said it also would affect permits for oil refinery expansion.

David Bookbinder, a Sierra Club attorney, the court ruling will "stop permitting of any coal burning power plants "while EPA mulls over what to do next" about how the federal Clean Air Act is to be used to control carbon dioxide. He said as many as 100 coal power plant permits — both those in process and others under appeal — will now be decided by the EPA, or state agencies that closely follow EPA's direction, after the Bush administration leave office. Read more HERE.

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