Obama Enacts 1st Ever Carbon Pollution Limits for Power Plants

Obama Enacts 1st Ever Carbon Pollution Limits for Power Plants US power plants will have to deal with rules governing their pollution output for the first time after the Obama Administration announced a set of regulations on Friday. The industry is not going down quietly, however, as dozens of lawsuits are expected that will question the guidelines’ economic viability. The long-awaited and oft-revised rules from the Environmental Protection Agency will make it extremely difficult to put up new coal-burning plants without using expensive technologies to curb carbon emissions, technology the industry claims would kill profits.

The rules announce Friday represent a key first step in President Obama’s climate change package, first revealed in June. The rules have undergone several revisions since first being introduced for public and congressional input, The rules only cover new plants built moving forward, but provide a hint at how harsh expected regulations for existing facilities will be when they are revealed next year. The news sent coal-related stocks downward as investors grew even more pessimistic about the industry’s future. Opponents of the rules have called Obama’s climate change agenda a “war on coal,” while supporters note that pollution from power plants accounts for a quarter of the nation’s total carbon footprint.