DEQ Opposes Federal Limits On New Coal-fired Energy Generation

DEQ Opposes Federal Limits On New Coal-fired Energy Generation

By / State News / Wednesday, 11 November 2015 05:00

RALIEGH, N.C. : November 5th, 2015 -  The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, announced today that the McCrory administration, along with 22 other states, filed a lawsuit on Tuesday asking a federal court to strike down the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) latest attempt to assume control of North Carolina’s energy program. The federal law would require new source performance standards (NSPS), which effectively prohibit the construction of new, clean coal-fired power plants.
The lawsuit, filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, argues the federal government exceeded its legal authority under Section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act in finalizing emissions standards that will jeopardize North Carolina meeting its energy needs. The one-size-fits-all federal rule fails to consider, and would critically impact, North Carolina’s progressive upgrading of coal plants to alternative energy sources.
The new rule relies upon experimental technology that is extremely expensive and unproven on a commercial scale in the United States.
“This administration is working diligently to provide cost-effective, environmentally-friendly energy to North Carolina citizens,” said DEQ Secretary Donald van der Vaart. “The federal government acknowledges that the proposed rule will have very little, if any, environmental benefit and that many of the provisions regarding carbon capture and storage are overstated. This rule will not achieve significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions and relies on unproven technology that could be technically and economically impractical.”
The requirements for carbon dioxide capture and storage imposed by the rule will require:
- additional energy production, resulting in an increase in criteria air pollutant and toxic air pollutant emissions;
- significant land area for the installation of required systems at power plant locations near urban areas where land is not available; and
- geology favorable to carbon dioxide storage that has not been shown to exist within a reasonable distance of power plants in North Carolina.
The lawsuit also challenges the legal foundation of the federal government’s power plan rule for existing coal-fired power plants, which many of these same states challenged in federal court last month.
Other states that are challenging the rule are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Wisconsin and Wyoming. Other petitioners are the Arizona Corporation Commission and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality.
Source: North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality.

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