Mt. Vernon Register-News

Community News Network

June 19, 2014

New EPA Co2 regs examined


FRANKFORT — Given their complexity and potential impact in coal-dependent states like Kentucky, there's considerable confusion about new carbon emission regulations issued by the Environmental Protection Agency.

Here are some highlights:

Actually, there are two separate sets of carbon emission regulations: the first set was issued in January and applies only to new electrical power plants. Those regulations are more stringent than the second set which applies to existing plants.


Regulations issued in January for new power plants limit CO2 emissions to no more than 1,100 pounds for each megawatt of electrical power generated.  That's a significant, and some say impossible, limit. Kentucky produces 93 percent of its electricity from coal-fired generators that emit on average 2,166 pounds of CO2 for each megawatt hour. 

The new source regulation “will essentially eliminate any possibility of a coal-fired, electrical generating unit being built again,” according to John Lyons, assistant secretary for climate policy with the Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet.

The EPA argues new coal-fired plants can be built using carbon capture and sequestration technology, but Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Len Peters said technology doesn't yet exist to make carbon capture and storage economically feasible. Peters also estimates that about one-third of the state's electrical generating units will have to be replaced by 2030 and around half by 2040. 


These are the regulations issued last week that caused such a storm.  But they actually pose less upheaval for Kentucky than the earlier set of regulations.

The goal is to reduce carbon emissions nationally from existing power plants by 30 percent by the year 2030. But that is a cumulative, national goal; it doesn't mean every state and every power plant must reduce CO2 by 30 percent. Partly because of efforts by Peters, Lyons and Gov. Steve Beshear, EPA set flexible, individual goals for each state which add up to the 30 percent national goal.

Text Only
Community News Network
  • sleepchart.jpg America’s sleep-deprived cities

    Americans might run on sleep, but those living in the country's largest cities don't appear to run on much.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Who should pay for your kids ACT?

    Thirteen states paid for 11th-grade students in all public high schools to take the ACT college admission test this year, with several more planning to join them in 2015.

    August 20, 2014

  • Pets.jpg Why do people look like their pets?

    As much as we might quibble over the virtues and vices of Canis domesticus, however, and over whether human nature is any better or worse than dog nature, even dog fanciers don't usually want to look like a dog.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Africa goes medieval in its fight against Ebola

    As the Ebola epidemic claims new victims at an ever-increasing rate, African governments in Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia have instituted a "cordon sanitaire," deploying troops to forcibly isolate the inhabitants in an area containing most of the cases.

    August 18, 2014

  • Democrat? Republican? There's an app for that

    If you're a Republican, you might want to think twice before buying Lipton Iced Tea, and forget about Starbucks coffee. If you're a Democrat, put down that Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and throw away the cylinder of Quaker Oats in your pantry.

    August 18, 2014

  • Five myths about presidential vacations

    In the nuclear age, presidents may have only minutes to make a decision that could affect the entire world. They don't so much leave the White House as they take a miniature version of it with them wherever they go.

    August 15, 2014

  • weightloss.jpg The scales of injustice: Weight loss differs between men, women

    You're not imagining it: There really are differences between the way men and women diet, lose weight and respond to exercise.

    August 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drug dealers going corporate

    A top federal official on Tuesday said that 105 banks and credit unions are doing business with legal marijuana sellers, suggesting that federal rules giving financial institutions the go-ahead to provide services to dealers are starting to work.

    August 13, 2014

  • wwimemorial.jpg The benefit of World War I omission on the Washington Mall

    By 1982, when the Vietnam Veterans Memorial opened on the National Mall, something had shifted in the way we remember our wars. A national memorial, prominently placed on the nation's most symbolically significant public space, came to seem like an essential dignity offered to veterans, their families and the memory of those who gave their lives. But there is an exception.

    August 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • In Japan, ramen aficionados worry their favorite dish is coming off the boil

    "The ramen boom has ended," said Ivan Orkin, a New Yorker who first traveled to Japan in the 1980s and now owns two noodle-soup restaurants in Tokyo. "A boom implies that there are new avenues and new growth to pursue, and that's not the case in Japan anymore."

    August 11, 2014

Twitter Updates