US proposing carbon regulation for power plants

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will release its New Source Performance Standards sometime this week, marking the first time the US has imposed carbon dioxide limits on new power plants.

The New Source Performance Standards have been delayed for several months as the EPA sought additional input from energy producers as well as environmentalists.

Under the new standards, all new power plants will need to have emissions comparable to efficient natural gas power plants.

Some companies have already shifted away from coal, considering natural gas prices have dropped significantly following the discovery of vast deposits across the US. In addition to the surplus, natural gas burns cleaner, emitting less carbon dioxide then coal-fired plants. This allows them to meet clean air regulations more easily.

However other energy utilities reliant on coal are expected to push back against the new rules citing the possibility of plant closures and job losses as the nation is digging itself out of the recent recession.