Did the EPA Just Kill Big Coal?

The Environmental Protection Agency’s new greenhouse gas rules could hasten the decline of America’s top source of electricity.

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a set of landmark greenhouse gas regulations that will surely have every coal country politician, from the hills to Appalachia to the Powder River Basin of Wyoming, sputtering mad. The rule will require new power plants to emit about 43 percent less carbon dioxide than today’s coal-fired generators. Natural gas plants already meet this requirement. But if a utility wants to burn coal for electricity, it will need to install carbon capture technology — and that’s really expensive.

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Image: Flickr/dayvid42

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The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, The Guardian, Huffington Post, Mother Jones, Slate, and Wired.