December 3, 2014

EPA comment period on greenhouse gas rule expires

By Lee Coleman

In June, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a new rule for existing coal burning power plants in North Dakota to reduce carbon dioxide emission levels by 30 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.
Since then the ongoing comment period on the announcement, which was extended to Dec. 1, has expired.
According to the EPA, this new rule could go into effect in June 2015. The outcry on the rule has been loud but time is now of the essence to those trying to stop the new parameters.
The Lignite Energy Council sent the EPA an 11-page letter accompanied by 19 pages of technical data and simply asked the EPA to start over on the carbon dioxide rules.
“Because the proposed rule is neither lawful nor workable, the EPA should withdraw it and start from scratch,” said Jason Bohrer, president and CEO of the Lignite Energy Council. “The changes required under the proposed rule have not been adequately demonstrated and would clearly jeopardize the nation’s electric grid.
“Accessible, abundant and affordable electricity is a cornerstone of the U.S. economy. Our economic security is built upon a complex, interactive grid that has at its core hundreds of coal-based generating plants tied together through substations and transmission lines.
“Creating a rule that ignores the physics of the electric grid is short-sighted and puts at risk our national security.”
U.S. President Barack Obama gave the EPA the go-ahead on the proposed rule and many think the reduction of greenhouse gas is something Obama wants to have for his legacy as the end of his presidency nears in two years.

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