On Friday, the Obama Administration announced new regulations that will set strict limits on the amount of carbon pollution that can be generated by any new power plant in our country, and that announcement instantly drew a ton of backlash from the coal industry, and it sparked a lot of conversation across our area.
Well even though it was just announced Friday, lawsuits are already expected to challenge the EPA's proposal to limit emissions from new power plants.
This proposal is being implemented to cap the amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions from newer power plants. Coal-fired plants, much like the 12 that exist here in our state won't meet the standards without installing the expensive technology to capture, and store the carbon emissions. the EPA's proposal which only addresses the newer plants is what officials in Washington are calling a "rehearsal" for a much larger bill that will limit emissions from existing power plants.
A move that officials here in our state feel will strike the heart of the West Virginia coal industry.
"Well, these new regulations that the president has put forward really strikes a devastating blow West Virginia's economy. This is a war on coal, it's a war on West Virginia jobs, and it's a a war on really West Virginia's future." said (R) Shelley Moore Capito, U.S. Representative.
This proposal will also effectively ban the construction of any new coal fired power plants to be built anywhere across our country.
5 new's also spoke with officials from the Department of Environmental Protection Friday about their reaction to this latest proposal. While the Obama administration continues to fight against climate change officials at the DEP in Charleston are already questioning the new technology.
"It's the charge of the U.S. Department of Protection Agency, we all want clean air, but you have to balance in that effort." said DEP Spokeswoman, Kathy Cosco.
Last year, carbon dioxide emissions dropped by 200 million tons, but overall global energy emissions are on the rise.