House divided over EPA coal proposals

WASHINGTON, March 28 (UPI) -- Supporters said EPA rules on carbon dioxide emissions from new U.S. power plants mark a breakthrough but critics said the move amounts to a tax on consumers.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced plans Tuesday to impose rules that would put a limit on emissions from new power plants. The EPA said the proposed standards are in line with trends in natural gas while also charting a path toward less-polluting facilities.


Critics of the proposal said new coal-fired power plants would be forced to adopt new technology that isn't commercially viable, which they said would mean the end of new coal power construction.

"This rule is part of the Obama administration's aggressive plan to change America's energy portfolio and eliminate coal as a source of affordable, reliable electricity generation," U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement.

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the rule was a "common-sense" approach to reducing air pollution. The rules wouldn't apply to units scheduled for construction during the next 12 months.

"The proposal is a breakthrough," Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., ranking member on the energy committee. "It sets achievable limits on dangerous carbon pollution, spurs investments in new clean energy technologies and provides certainty for industry."


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