Today the Biden administration announced regulations to limit greenhouse pollution from existing coal and gas plants and for new gas plants. Read our quick take below, and find our new white paper on the proposal here. We will keep updating our Regulatory Tracker pages Regulating Greenhouse Gases from Existing Power Plants—the Clean Power Plan, Affordable Clean Energy Rules, & 2023 Power Plant Rules, and GHG New Source Performance Standards for Power Plants, and stay tuned for our podcast of the proposed rule this week!
If a coal plant plans to operate for a long time (i.e., beyond 2040), EPA is proposing to require those plants to run pollution controls by 2030. But if a company plans to continue to operate a coal plant until 2035 or 2040, then EPA proposes standards based on how much it will run or what fuels it uses. If a plant is planning to retire by 2032, the rule doesn’t ask companies to make costly investments.
New gas-fired power plants can continue to be built today. But, if a company plans to run it a lot (i.e., baseload), EPA proposes that it must control its carbon pollution with carbon capture by 2035. Alternatively, EPA includes a compliance pathway for units planning on using hydrogen. EPA proposes tailored approaches for units that will not be operating a lot.
For existing natural gas combined cycle (NGCC) plants, EPA proposes a standard only for the large baseload units (greater than 300 MW and operating more than 50% of the time).