The federal government has unveiled air quality standards that will affect new coal-fired power plants. The new EPA rules mark the first time carbon dioxide emissions from all new power plants will be limited.
This doesn’t mean there won’t be any new coal-fired power plants built in the U.S., but it does mean that any company that wants to build one will have to install advanced carbon control technologies, like carbon capture and sequestration. Plants will have a limit of 1,000 pounds of carbon pollution per megawatt hour.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson hailed the rule as a step forward to address climate change.
“This standard isn’t the once and for all solution to our environmental challenges,” she said. “But it is an important, common sense step to tackling the ongoing and very real threat of climate change and protecting the future for generations to come.”
The rule only affects future power plants, not existing facilities so it won’t have an immediate effect in Louisville.
A spokeswoman for LG&E says the company has no plans to build any additional coal-fired plants, and the natural gas plant proposed for Cane Run should have no trouble meeting the new carbon dioxide limits.