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August 5, 2014

New EPA Carbon Rules Change Outlook for Future Mix of Fuels

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to address the issue of climate change with a pair of rules limiting carbon dioxide emissions from new and existing fossil fuel power plants.  This unprecedented action by the EPA includes the prospect of costly carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technology for new coal plants, as well as state-based emission reduction goals that favor less carbon intensive fuel sources like natural gas for power production.  Although states are free to choose how to meet their emission goals for existing plants, the challenges of nuclear energy and renewables, and the growing costs of coal with CCS, leave states with few viable options – most notably, natural gas.  An energy supply based on natural gas, however, is not without challenges, including critics of shale gas extraction and pipeline bottlenecks that limit supply to areas of high demand.  Despite these challenges, the result of the proposed rules will likely be a change in the energy landscape in which natural gas, not coal, will be fueling the U.S. power sector in the future.  View the full article here: http://authors.elsevier.com/a/1PSZO3ic-~hHBk

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