Dem Sen. Heitkamp, bashing EPA’s coal rule, vows new legislation

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The EPA rule proposed Friday would require that future coal plants employ technologies that trap and store a substantial amount of their carbon pollution.

Critics of the rule say carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology isn’t close to widespread and cost-effective commercial readiness, and call the rule a de facto ban on new coal plants.

“This Administration has repeatedly stated its energy policy as ‘all of the above,’ but continues to issue regulations that make it impossible to find a viable path forward for coal. This rule would have lasting, harmful impacts on North Dakotans – not just the coal industry, but nearly all consumers as coal provides almost 90 percent of our state’s electricity,” Heitkamp said.

But EPA and its allies say innovative technologies are becoming increasingly available to cut heat-trapping emissions to help fight global warming. Power plants account for roughly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, in a Huffington Post column Friday, called CCS “a proven technology that is being used right now to support the development of both new conventional and new unconventional coal plants.”

“These proposed standards would minimize carbon pollution by taking advantage of modern, cleaner energy technologies that power companies are already using to build the next generation of power plants. This is exactly what the Clean Air Act requires,” she wrote.

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