This morning the Wall Street Journal ran my op-ed “New EPA Regulations Will Kill Clean Coal” which can be viewed in full by logging into their site.
Here at ACCCE, we work directly with members of the coal-based electricity industry. This gives us a firsthand look at how the new EPA regulations are putting Americans companies out of business and the American people out of work.
The fact is that the EPA’s announced rules aren’t realistic for our industry.
The new rules will require the use of carbon capture and storage technology on a massive scale and while CCS holds great promise for the future of our industry, this technology is still in its infancy.
The coal-based electricity sector is working with the government to further develop CCS technology and demonstrate that it can operate safely and reliably at large plants, but we’re not there yet.
The United States currently has only one first-generation CCS project. This first-generation technology is promising but still very expensive to operate, so a requirement that every new coal-fueled plant must deploy this technology amounts to a de facto ban on the construction of new coal plants.
An end to new coal plants would by extension mean an end to the development of CCS, among the most innovative clean coal technologies ever developed. If the United States quits on coal and clean coal technology, countries like China stand to benefit.
As an industry, our record on developing new cleaner technologies speaks for itself. There are at least 15 different clean coal technologies being used today by our coal fleet and those advancements have helped reduce emissions by nearly 90% since 1970.
This Administration is saying they support clean coal technology, but then pushing policies that would undermine its development. If the Obama administration is truly committed to clean energy, clean coal technology and CCS, then the EPA has to give the industry time to develop this technology and make it commercially viable.