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New Fossil Fuel EPA Standards Threaten Energy Stability

New Fossil Fuel EPA Standards Threaten Energy Stability

May 6, 2024

New Fossil Fuel EPA Standards Threaten Energy Stability

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized a set of standards targeting fossil fuel-fired power plants, a move that has received backlash regarding the potential impact on electricity costs and grid reliability.

The EPA's new rule, part of the Biden-Harris administration's climate change agenda, targets existing coal-fired and new natural gas-fired power plants, mandating that they control 90 percent of their carbon emissions. Central to the EPA's strategy is the deployment of carbon capture and sequestration/storage (CCS) technology, which is designed to capture and store carbon dioxide emissions from power plants.

EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan stated, "By developing these standards in a clear, transparent, inclusive manner, EPA is cutting pollution while ensuring that power companies can make smart investments and continue to deliver reliable electricity for all Americans."

The EPA's rule, detailed in a 1,020-page document, asserts that CCS is an "adequately demonstrated technology" and cost-reasonable, citing declining costs of the technology and significant tax credits available through President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act.

However, critics have raised concerns about the feasibility and economic viability of CCS. An article from ZeroHedge highlighted skepticism over the technology, suggesting it is neither cost-effective nor sufficiently proven at scale. The article cited potential consequences such as electricity rationing and higher costs for consumers.

Supporting this skepticism, the International Institution for Sustainable Development (IISD) released an article outlining the challenges and inefficiencies of CCS, particularly in Canada’s oil and gas sector, which may have broader implications for CCS in electricity production.

Adding to the debate, The Wall Street Journal referred to the CCS mandate as a plan to ration electricity, noting that CCS technology is energy-intensive, reduces plant efficiency, and that the infrastructure for transportation and storage of captured CO2 faces significant hurdles, including opposition to pipeline construction and lengthy permitting processes.

The Wall Street Journal

The EPA's new regulations have also drawn attention from some Democratic representatives who have urged President Biden to reconsider the timing of finalizing these rules due to concerns about electricity affordability and reliability risks.

EPA Final Rule

ZeroHedge Article


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