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Health, Science & Environment

New EPA Rules Boost the Cost of Power from Coal

University of Utah Carbon Science and Engineering Research Group

  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new rules that would require new coal-fired power plants to capture carbon dioxide rather than sending it into the air.  University of Utah Professor Brian McPherson, who’s worked on ways to “sequester” carbon dioxide, says that could raise the cost of new coal plants to the point they’re no longer practical.  And he says the new rules give natural gas fired power plants an unfair advantage.

McPherson tells KUER, “The contrast in restrictions on natural gas versus coal are very different, making it more difficult for coal, new coal-fired power plants to even be proposed because they’re facing a stiff cost of capturing CO2 and storing that CO2.”

Burning natural gas produces only about half the carbon dioxide of burning coal, but McPherson says the government needs to look at restrictions on new natural gas plants as well.

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