Thursday, September 19, 2013

Rules that could 'kill'? Safety, cost concerns over EPA's new coal regs

coal_plant_09.jpgNew clean-energy rules pushed through by the Obama administration are raising concerns that they could cripple the coal industry -- and may require power plants to use technology so risky that even the president's former top energy official once warned it could "kill."

The EPA, by Friday, is expected to release a new proposal to set the first-ever carbon dioxide limits for new power plants. 

To meet those emissions caps, power plants would likely have to use what is known as "carbon-capture technology," which involves burying the carbon underground. 

The technology, which is still under development, remains expensive and not commercially available. But there are lingering safety risks. 

Steven Chu, who served until recently as President Obama's energy secretary, cautioned in a 2007 talk sponsored by the Berkeley Lab in California that the process could be dangerous and bring legal challenges -- as well as additional costs -- for the companies involved. 

Though he said the carbon would be stable in the long-term, the chief concern would be that in its initial state "as a big bubble of gas," it might leak to the surface. He seemed to describe those concerns as legitimate. 

Via: Fox News

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