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EPA unveils rules limiting carbon emissions from natural gas and coal power plants

The US Environmental Protection Agency has released a set of rules that would limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal and natural gas power plants. If finalized, the rules would be the first to set such a national standard. The rule caps carbon emissions from natural gas power plants at 1,000 pounds/megawatt hour and from coal power plants at 1,100 pounds.

Executive Director of the Wyoming Mining Association, Marion Loomis, says while natural gas plants can meet the proposed standard, coal power plants still have technological limitations to complying with the rule. But Loomis adds there are no new coal power plants under consideration in Wyoming at this time.

“I don’t think it’s going to have an immediate impact,” Loomis says. “As older plants are retired and other rules come into play they may decide that in order to comply they better shut down the existing plants and build new plants. And if they do that, they won’t be building coal plants, they’ll be building gas plants.” 

Loomis says EPA’s plans to release rules next year that would apply to existing power plants would be more damaging.

In a statement, Governor Matt Mead said today’s proposal would be damaging to Wyoming as the nation’s top coal producer.

Irina Zhorov is a reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She earned her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and an MFA from the University of Wyoming. In between, she worked as a photographer and writer for Philadelphia-area and national publications. Her professional interests revolve around environmental and energy reporting and she's reported on mining issues from Wyoming, Mexico, and Bolivia. She's been supported by the Dick and Lynn Cheney Grant for International Study, the Eleanor K. Kambouris Grant, and the Social Justice Research Center Research Grant for her work on Bolivian mining and Uzbek alpinism. Her work has appeared on Voice of America, National Native News, and in Indian Country Today, among other publications.
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