EPA takes steps to lower emissions

Floods, drought, and record heat make the news day after day. All are signs of a changing climate, as outlined in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Climate Change Indicators report.

This week, the EPA took one more step toward limiting the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that are the primary contributor to climate change.  EPA unveiled its proposed rule for regulating CO2 emissions from new fossil fuel power plants. EPA introduced the rule as a way to combat climate change and improve public health, all great things that Green Mountain stands for!

This is the second proposal from the EPA to set limits on CO2 from power plants, based on public comments received on an earlier April 2012 proposal. The proposed standards apply to new power plants only, but the EPA plans to introduce regulations limiting CO2 emissions from existing plants in the future.

The proposed standards set different limits for coal and natural gas power plants. Currently, a typical average coal unit emits more than 4 million metric tons of CO2 per year, according to the EPA. A modern coal plant under this plan will emit no more than 3 million tons.  A gas plant will emit around 1.7 million tons per year.

Coupled with R&D funding for cleaner energy technologies, priority permitting for renewable energy on public lands, policies and programs to cut energy waste, and tighter fuel economy standards, the proposed CO2 regulations make up a critical piece of the President’s Climate Action Plan.

Green Mountain and our customers are doing our part every day to change the way power is made AND used, which is in line with the President’s plan. Thank you for all you do!

The full proposed EPA rule can be viewed here.