The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has officially published a rule on 8 January governing greenhouse-gas emissions from new power plants. Advanced natural-gas power plants are expected to be able to meet the new standards. New coal plants would require carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology to meet the standard. CCS remains an economic and technical challenge. For this reason, the low price of natural gas, and the rapidly decreasing cost of renewable generation from solar PV and wind, few utilities are currently planning new coal-fired power plants.
The EPA is requesting public comments on the rule. It is also working on a second standard governing existing power plants.
Power plants are the largest source of emissions in the United States accounting for one-third of all domestic greenhouse gas emissions. In 2009, the Envirnonmental Protection agency (EPA) determined that greenhouse gas pollution is causing long lasting changes in Earth's climate that can have negative effects on human health and the environment.
In September 2013 the EPA isued a revised proposal for Carbon Pollution Standards for New Power Plants. Under this proposal, new large natural gas-fired turbines would need to meet a limit of 1,000 pounds of CO2 per MWh, while new small natural gas-fired turbines would need to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per MWh. New coal-fired units would need to meet a limit of 1,100 pounds of CO2 per megawatt-hour, and would have the option to choose to average emissions over multiple years.