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EPA Plans to Announce New Carbon Emission Regulations

Posted by Ryan Leech

Jun 6, 2014 7:30:00 AM

epa-plans-to-announce-new-carbon-emission-regulationsAnnouncements from the White House concerning tighter restriction on fresh carbon emission which could impact the mining sector are anticipated this week.

In addition to the carbon emission cuts, the policy is rumored to provide states the benefit of using cap-and-trade regulations to transfer the cost of pollution to the coal companies that generate them.

The move is expected to be the most aggressive action in US President Barack Obama’s climate change policy. The White House and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are tasked with trying to curb the environmental impact of greenhouse gas emissions without causing irreparable damage to the economy.

The upcoming announcement will have different impacts on different states. Some states, such as California, already have similar legislation in place, while other states such as West Virginia could see dramatic changes in their companies and several plant retirements.

According to mining.com “Experts believe that West Virginia will be the hardest hit by the new measures. The state, one of the US’s three poorest by household income, sits at the heart of coal country. Official figures also show the state gets 95% of its power from the fossil fuel.”

The goal of the legislation is to greatly decrease the percentage of CO2 emissions. Officials expect the decreased levels of emissions to be between 20% and 25%.

The actual piece of legislation will be quite sizeable. While many particulars of the bill are already known, there are aspects of the 3,000 page rule that people in the coal and mining industry are interested to see when the announcement is made on June 2nd.

In an article by Power Source spokeswoman for First Energy Generation, an Akron-based energy company that has plants in Pennsylvania discussed the interest in finding out the particular details.

“There are some elements of the rule we hope to see when it comes out,” Ms. Walton said. “We think the state should be allowed flexibility when reducing emissions, such as allowing plant retirements and allowing states to take credit for past emission reduction programs.”

The balance between reducing emissions and the understanding that coal will still play a crucial role in the country’s future energy production make this announcement one that every energy company will be looking forward to hearing.

Once the details are finally announced, each state and company will have to carefully consider their options to continue profitable production while complying with the new regulations.

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Topics: Mining

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