Posts Tagged ‘Power Plants’

Everything You Need to Know About Obama’s New Climate-Change Rules

Friday, June 6th, 2014

On Monday, President Obama unveiled details of the cornerstone of his climate plan: Limits on carbon-dioxide emissions from the nation’s fleet of existing power plants. The rules are likely to be the biggest step toward the president’s goal of cutting U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions 17 percent by 2020. The rules are already taking heat from the fossil-fuel industry and Republicans in Congress, despite having the support of a majority of Americans. So what’s all the hullabaloo about, exactly? Here’s what you need to know:

Why regulate carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants?

By now it’s well established that carbon dioxide from human activities is the single biggest driver of climate change. The news this month that severe glacial melting in Antarctica has already nearly guaranteed up to 10 feet of global sea level rise was just the latest reminder of the dire need to slash our carbon pollution. Power plants and vehicles are the two biggest sources of this pollution in the United States, accounting for about 38 and 31 percent of carbon emissions, respectively. The Obama administration has already taken aim at motor vehicles; it placed new emissions limits on cars in 2009 and ordered them forheavy-duty trucks this year. But there are currently no restrictions—at all—on how much carbon pollution the nation’s existing fleet of power plants can produce.

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How Obama’s power plant emission rules will work

Friday, May 30th, 2014

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is poised to unveil the first rules limiting carbon emissions from the thousands of power plants across the nation. The pollution controls form the cornerstone of President Barack Obama’s campaign to combat climate change and a key element of his legacy.

Obama says the rules are essential to curb the heat-trapping greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Critics contend the rules will kill jobs, drive up electricity prices and shutter plants across the country.

Environmentalists and industry advocates alike are eagerly awaiting the specifics, which the Environmental Protection Agency will make public for the first time on Monday and Obama will champion from the White House.

While the details remain murky, the administration says the rules will play a major role in achieving the pledge Obama made in Copenhagen during his first year in office to cut America’s carbon emissions by about 17 percent by 2020.

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EPA director says draft greenhouse rules will give states new tools

Friday, April 25th, 2014

WASHINGTON — New draft rules limiting greenhouse gases from existing power plants will give states the tools to curtail emissions that drive climate change without shuttering lots of facilities and threatening electric reliability, said Gina McCarthy, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, at a panel discussion in Washington on Monday.

“Nothing we do can threaten reliability,” McCarthy said at a conference hosted by the Bipartisan Policy Center, a Washington think tank, especially because “in a changing climate, it will be increasingly challenging to maintain a reliable energy supply.”

In a sweeping speech on climate change in June, President Obama directed the EPA to develop rules to cut greenhouse gases from power plants, the single largest domestic source of heat-trapping emissions. The EPA proposed rules for new power plants in September.

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U.S. Carbon Emissions From Fossil Fuels Rose in 2013 as Coal Use Ticked Up

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

When all the data is in, it looks like carbon dioxide emissions from the burning of fossil fuels will have gone up 2 percent in 2013 from the previous year, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) said on Monday.

The main reason, it said, is an uptick in the use of coal for electric power. But it’s also a sign of growing economic activity in general.

Ever since the deep recession began in 2008, U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide had been going down. CO2 is the principal greenhouse gas that’s causing climate change. About 40 percent of emissions from the energy sector come from combustion of coal in power plants. The Obama has proposed rules to control these emissions from newly built plants, and is also drafting rules to govern existing power plants.

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Good news on global warming? Emissions going up, but more slowly.

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Despite a record-setting increase in the amount of carbon dioxide released from power plants, factories, and other human activities last year, there may have been a silver lining: emissions increased at a significantly slower rate than they have during the past 10 years on average, according to a new report.

The reduction in the rate of increase took place even as the global economy grew. This could signal that countries are using more green energy, which allows them to grow economically without similarly increasing their CO2 emissions. But other variables suggest 2013 could also be an anomaly.

The report comes on the eve of global climate talks set to take place in Warsaw Nov. 11-22. The talks are aimed at laying the groundwork for a new international agreement to combat global warming in ways that include major greenhouse-gas emitters such as China and India as well as industrial countries that historically have been the major emitters.

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