The US Environmental Protection Agency has released a set of rules that would limit carbon dioxide emissions from coal and natural gas power plants. If finalized, the rules would be the first to set such a national standard. The rule caps carbon emissions from natural gas power plants at 1,000 pounds/megawatt hour and from coal power plants at 1,100 pounds.
Executive Director of the Wyoming Mining Association, Marion Loomis, says while natural gas plants can meet the proposed standard, coal power plants still have technological limitations to complying with the rule. But Loomis adds there are no new coal power plants under consideration in Wyoming at this time.
“I don’t think it’s going to have an immediate impact,” Loomis says. “As older plants are retired and other rules come into play they may decide that in order to comply they better shut down the existing plants and build new plants. And if they do that, they won’t be building coal plants, they’ll be building gas plants.”
Loomis says EPA’s plans to release rules next year that would apply to existing power plants would be more damaging.
In a statement, Governor Matt Mead said today’s proposal would be damaging to Wyoming as the nation’s top coal producer.