EPA Plans Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards for Power Plants and Refineries


2010-12-23 Scientific American
New rules to cut greenhouse gas emissions from existing and new power plants and oil refineries could take effect in 2012

CARBON STANDARD: The U.S. EPA will develop new standards determining how much CO2 and other greenhouse gases fossil fuel-burning power plants and oil refineries can emit, potentially necessitating the installation of more technology to capture carbon like the unit pictured here.  Image: © David Biello

CARBON STANDARD: The U.S. EPA will develop new standards determining how much CO2 and other greenhouse gases fossil fuel-burning power plants and oil refineries can emit, potentially necessitating the installation of more technology to capture carbon like the unit pictured here. Image: © David Biello

New standards for climate change-causing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants and oil refineries were announced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday. Collectively the nation’s roughly 500 fossil fuel-fired power plants and 150 oil refineries emit some 2.4 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases per year—nearly 40 percent of total U.S. emissions. The EPA proposes to set standards for both existing and new facilities under the nation’s clean air law for greenhouse gas pollution in July and December of 2011 under the new plan, with such standards to take effect in 2012.

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