The ACA case in the Supreme Court is rightfully taking up most of the media oxygen at the moment.
The proposed rule — years in the making and approved by the White House after months of review — will require any new power plant to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt of electricity produced. The average U.S. natural gas plant, which emits 800 to 850 pounds of CO2 per megawatt, meets that standard; coal plants emit an average of 1,768 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt.
Industry officials and environmentalists said in interviews that the rule, which comes on the heels of tough new requirements that the Obama administration imposed on mercury emissions and cross-state pollution from utilities within the past year, dooms any proposal to build a coal-fired plant that does not have costly carbon controls.
While these are ‘new source performance standards,’ they will also ensure that future electricity generation comes from renewable sources. Without the penalty incentive, the new technologies keep poking off down the road, never getting any closer. This is kind of a boring way to bring them into the near(er) future. Let the ennui ensue.