Friday, November 14, 2008

EPA Blocks Vernal Coal Plant

The Wonk Room:

In a landmark action, the Environmental Protection Agency’s final decision-making board has ruled that all new and proposed coal-fired power plants must have their carbon dioxide emissions regulated. The Environmental Appeals Board ruled today that the EPA has no valid reason for refusing to place limits on the global warming emissions from Desert Power’s proposed 110-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Vernal, Utah.

Deseret Power’s Bonanza Generating Station would have emitted 3.37 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. In July 2007, the EPA issued a permit for the plant, ignoring the Clean Air Act’s stipulation that all such permits must include a “best-available control technology” emissions limit for each pollutant “subject to regulation under the Act.”

[...] The 69-page decision described the Bush administration’s arguments as “weak,” “questionable,” “not sustainable,” and “not sufficient,” and rebuked EPA Administrator Stephen Johnson for failing to issue CO2 regulations, repeatedly recommending an “action of nationwide scope.”

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