The Obama Administration has now become the first administration to put limits on heat trapping from the new power plants. This move comes after heavy opposition from Republicans and industry leaders who said that the new regulation will raise electrical prices and in the process kill coal. Environmentalists, however, wanted a stronger ruling on coal because coal is blamed for the majority of the gases that cause global warming.
Environmentalists would be happy to know that some of the older coal power plants have been shutting down mostly due to super cheap natural gas and China buying tons and tons of coal from the US over the past year.
On the other side, Republicans are not friends of more government regulation, especially from the EPA. The EPA’s new regulation on controlling pollution and toxic emissions has left some people with no options but to retire. This has caused Republicans to claim that there will be an increase in blackouts, however power plant operators have already said that this is not the case.
The new regulation will give future coal power plants years to meet the new standards, however it will not apply to already existing plants or new ones built in the next year or so. The regulation is a stepping stone for the real goal of being able to capture carbon pollution and store it underground and to also use it to extract more oil and natural gas.
Leaders in the coal industry are not happy with the new regulation. They say that the ruling will make it “impossible” to build any new coal power plants and could cause relatively new plants to close. What makes this new regulation even worse is that oil prices are high right now and now the coal industry is feeling beaten down. Pro-coal advocates are now saying that energy prices will be going up.
I can see both sides of the argument. One side, EPA, is creating a more clean energy friendly environment which is important. However, on the other side we have the business owners and the Republicans. I can also understand their argument of hurting coal and energy prices. At the end of the day I can agree with the reasoning behind the Obama Administration’s plan for pollution and such but I believe it comes at a bad time. New energy regulations in the midst of higher oil and a delicate recovery is not what I would have expected. However, keep an eye on coal stocks to see how they will respond to this news.