No, don’t rub your eyes making sure you read that correctly. It’s true. As you know, every time, in this instance, the EPA, passes a new regulation it must provide a cost/benefit analysis. First, the proposed new rule.
The EPA proposed what are known as ‘new source performance standards’ for carbon under the Clean Air Act, which are part of the agency’s ‘endangerment finding’ to limit greenhouse gas emissions. To control CO2, utilities will need to install new technology, such as capture-and-sequestration systems that are among the world’s most complex and expensive industrial equipment.
So, how can something both complex and expensive cost nothing?
Simple…the EPA has basically stopped the permitting of any new coal powered plants in this country, and, thus this new rule will cost nothing as no company will be permitted to open a coal fired plant.
[w]henever a plant upgrades-whether installing a new fan blade or replacing a toilet seat-it must comply with every rule on the books. So, as a utility obeys the mercury rule, say, it will also be caught in the pincer movement of these new carbon standards.
Forgetting for the moment that,
[t]he problem with carbon capture and storage-apart from costs- is that the technology is still speculative…
what will happen in the real world?
Almost half of our electric power currently comes from coal fired power plants. When they shut down one by one, due to this new rule, where will our brand new, perhaps soon to be government mandated, Chevy Volts get their power?
Oh, I forgot, algae.