EPA says its new rule won't have 'any notable' effect on CO2 emissions

Last week the EPA struck fear into the hearts of the coal mining community after announcing its draft set of regulations on carbon emissions.

And what does the EPA hope to achieve?

According to its own report, not much.

"The EPA projects that this proposed rule will result in negligible CO2 emission changes, quantified benefits, and costs by 2022," the report released last week reads.

The proposed rule sets strict limits on the amount of carbon pollution generated by new power plants – existing plants won't be touched, for now.

The legislation would effectively put a moratorium on new coal plants.

But the report also states that it would not have impact on CO2 emissions.

This is because the EPA believes that "even in the absence of this rule … existing and anticipated economic conditions means that few, if any, solid fossil-fuel-fired EGUs [electric generating units] will be built in the foreseeable future."

"New generation technologies" – especially natural gas – will fuel electricity generators, the Agency noted, adding that it does "not project any new coal-fired EGUs without CSS [carbon capture and storage technology] to be built in the absence of this proposal."

In other words, the EPA argues that even without its regulations, the industry is moving toward cleaner technology.

When addressing the issue of costs associated with the proposed rule, the EPA says that owners of newly built electric generating units "will likely choose technologies that meet these standards" anyway, so its regulations won't – theoretically – cost them anything.

Critics say that by claiming that there are no clear benefits the Agency is trying to mask "the high costs of compliance," the Daily Caller writes.

Reactions to last week's announcement were varied, with opponents claiming that the current administration has "no love for coal."

Others say that burning coal to produce electricity is archaic and "dirty."

The EPA's proposals have hefty legislative hurdles to overcome before becoming law.