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EPA Regulations and Electricity: Update on Agenciesäó» Monitoring Efforts and Coal-Fueled Generating Unit Retirements
Frank Rusco (au)
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently proposed or finalized four regulations affecting coal-fueled electricity generating units, which provide about 37% of the nation's electricity supply: (1) Cross-State Air Pollution Rule; (2) Mercury and Air Toxics Standards; (3) Cooling Water Intake Structures regulation; and (4) Disposal of Coal Combustion Residuals regulation. In 2012, GAO reported that, in response to these regulations and other factors such as low natural gas prices, companies might retire or retrofit some units. These actions may increase electricity prices and, according to some stakeholders, may affect the ability to meet consumers' demand in some regions. In 2012, GAO recommended that the Dept. of Energy (DOE), EPA, and the Fed. Energy Regulatory Comm. (FERC) develop and document a formal, joint process to monitor industry's progress responding to these regulations. In June 2014, EPA proposed new regulations to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that will also affect these units. This report examines (1) agencies' efforts to respond to GAO's recommendation; and (2) what is known about planned retirements and retrofits. Table and figures. This is a print on demand report.
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