EPA puts CO2 limit on coal plants

New coal plants will have a cap on emissions for the first time

New power plants in the United States will have federally imposed caps on greenhouse-gas emissions for the first time, it was announced recently, though no restrictions have been placed on existing coal-fired plants.

The rule, issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 3, drew the ire of Republicans and the coal industry, though energy analysts predict low natural-gas prices will prompt energy companies to move away from coal-fired plants in the future, according to The Washington Post.

The limit will require new plants to emit no more than 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) per megawatt hour of electricity produced. The average coal plant emits 1,768 pounds of CO2 per megawatt hour of electricity, while natural-gas plants emit 800 to 850 pounds per megawatt hour.