In the popular nursing rhyme "Old King Cole," the King was a merry old soul, and a merry old soul was he. In light of the recent EPA proposed ruling on CO2 emissions limitations for new coal power plants, I don't know how merry King Coal is anymore.
According to an April 1 news piece from the Boston Herald, "The EPAs War on Coal":
"When the rule is adopted after a two-month comment period, any new fossil-fueled plant may emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide for every 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity. A coal plant would have to be more than twice as efficient as the best modern plants while a natural gas plant could be about a quarter more inefficient than the latest models."
Considering coal plants are estimated to produce around 44% of the U.S.'s electricity, there are mounting fears that energy bills will increase significantly. There are also concerns of the detrimental effects to coal-based economies such as eastern Kentucky, and the coal mining industry overall.
The affordability of natural gas in conjunction with this recent EPA ruling could shut the door on a coal-based fuel industry revival and a rise in market share for natural gas producers.
In a Reuters piece by John Kemp, "EPA emission regulations shut door on coal," he writes,
"The [EPA]'s proposed rule...would set a standard well within the capability of modern gas-fired plants but impossible for coal-fired units to meet unless they employ (unproven) carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
"The agency emphasizes it applies only to new power plants, not the existing fleet, and there is a transitional exemption for any new units that have acquired a complete preconstruction permit by the time of this proposal and commence building within 12 months."
On topical issues, occasionally OEM Off-Highway will put together a Storify document that compiles recent news, articles, opinion pieces, tweets and more from the internet to gather information in one place for our readers. If you head to http://storify.com/oemoffhighway/ you will see a few of our compilations, including "The EPA and Coal Industry" with our information collection.
DIGITAL ONLY VERSION OF LAST PARAGRAPH: On topical issues, occasionally OEM Off-Highway will put together a Storify document that compiles recent news, articles, opinion pieces, tweets and more from the internet to gather information in one place for our readers. Head to http://storify.com/oemoffhighway/the-epa-and-coal-industry to browse and learn through our "The EPA and Coal Industry" information compilation.