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 New carbon rules for power plants, Obama EPA
Wayne in WA State
Posted: Mar 31 2012, 12:45 PM
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EPA's new carbon rules mean the end of coal's poisonous reign
Published: Friday, March 30, 2012, 6:00 AM
Star-Ledger Editorial Board By Star-Ledger Editorial Board

It’s the beginning of the end for “Old King Coal.”

The Obama administration this week unveiled its long-awaited proposal for limiting carbon pollution from new coal plants.

Under these rules, no more coal-fired plants will be built as they exist today. From now on, they’ll have to be clean: with state-of-the art technologies to capture and store carbon emissions — technology that doesn’t yet exist.

That’s cause to rejoice, because dirty coal plants are known to make us sick and trigger extreme weather.

The Environmental Protection Agency draft rules follow a national movement toward less reliance on coal. Because of the low cost of natural gas, nobody’s building coal plants these days. The future is in gas and renewable energy.

But the EPA proposal, which pertains only to new plants, is basically an insurance policy against any resurgence of interest in coal. Next, the EPA should target our existing fleet of power plants, the nation’s largest source of carbon pollution.
coal-plant.JPGView full size

Not that they’re totally off the hook now. The EPA already set strict new standards last year to limit mercury, soot and smog pollution from these aging power plants. That’s projected to save tens of thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of asthma cases, heart attacks and hospital visits.

The regulations compel changes to dirty plants, such as adding smoke stack scrubbers, which can capture 95 percent of key pollutants. And the cost will encourage more plants to convert to natural gas, or shut down completely, like the infamous Portland Generation Station in Pennsylvania that recently closed after a half-century of spewing toxins that wafted over New Jersey.

The smog hanging over our cities is known to cause everything from birth defects, cancer and heart attacks to asthma and bronchitis. It rains down into our lakes and streams, poisoning their habitats and the fish we eat.

Carbon makes that smog even worse, exacerbating our health problems. It also increases the threat of climate change, including severe heat waves, floods, storms and droughts that cost lives. We need to target that pollution, too — and not just for new plants.

We’ve suffered long enough from old-fashioned coal-burning. Time to usher in the reign of cleaner power.

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Texan for Gore
Posted: Mar 31 2012, 01:28 PM
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This is good news. :clap:
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