New CO2 limits on power plants is all stick and no carrot
EPA announced a new rule today that for the first time caps the amount of carbon dixoide (CO2) that can be emitted by power plants using fossil fuels and requires that the CO2 be captured and stored so it does not reach the atmosphere. The rule is structured so as to primarily target new coal-fired plants. Existing plants and those under construction are exempt. Beneficiaries are natural gas fueled plants and nuclear. The AAAS Science Insider blog notes that nearly all gas-fired plants built since 2005 meet the new limits.
Science Insider also points out that the measure does not provide for additional research or testing of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technology. "...the fact that the new standard doesn't cover existing plants, and makes it relatively easy for gas plants to comply, could further reduce incentives to develop better and cheaper methods for separating CO2 from emissions and then burying or storing the gas."
AZGS is currently involved in three assessments of the capacity of different geologic stratigraphic sections across Arizona as potential hosts for geologic sequestration of CO2. [Right, Navajo Generating Station near Page. Credit, CAP]