Federal officials proposed on Tuesday the first-ever greenhouse gas limits for new power plants, a move that could affect a planned $6 billion coal-fired power plant in
Announced byU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyAdministrator Lisa Jackson, the rules aim to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases that the
"Right now there are no limits to the amount of carbon pollution that future power plants will be able to put in our skies — and the health and economic threats of a changing climate continue to grow," Jackson said in a statement.
The rules, which the EPA says are mandated under the federal Clean Air Act, would not apply to existing power plants or plants that will start construction during the next 12 months.
The cooperative hoped to start construction in 2010, but lawsuits and other delays forced it to push back the project. The cooperative remains committed to building the plant but no construction start date is set, spokesman Bill Sherrod said. He was unsure how the EPA proposal could affect the cooperative's plans.
"The staff members at Old Dominion have to look at it," he said.
The rules are the Obama administration’s latest effort to to curb greenhouse gases. Plans are in place that will cut pollution from the nation’s ports, including
Countering past Republican claims, Jackson said the rules would not kill the coal industry. They do, however, favor natural gas and other energy sources that produce less greenhouse gas.