Thursday, July 8, 2010

EPA tightens reins on dirty coal

Posted By on Thu, Jul 8, 2010 at 10:04 AM

Good news for breathers, the EPA is cracking down on air pollution created by coal plants. And, this is great news for Charlotte, since the city is virtually surrounded by coal plants.

From's Wonk Room:

Today, the Obama administration proposed a sweeping plan to reduce power plant emissions that cross state lines and kill tens of thousands of Americans every year. The proposed Clean Air Transport Rule replaces the Bush administration’s so-called “clean air interstate rule” (CAIR) that was shot down by the courts because it permitted so much interstate emission trading that even some power companies filed suit.

Read more here.

But, what does this mean for Charlotte-based Duke Energy, the company that owns the coal plants surrounding the Queen City? Well, it's a little too early to tell, but there's speculation Duke may have to close some of the company's older plants, like the 80-year-old Riverbend plant that's a mere dozen miles from the heart of Uptown, sooner than anticipated.

So, what does this mean for you? Better health.

According to the EPA's press release:

Today’s action would yield more than $120 billion in annual health benefits in 2014, including avoiding an estimated 14,000 to 36,000 premature deaths, 23,000 nonfatal heart attacks, 21,000 cases of acute bronchitis, 240,000 cases of aggravated asthma, and 1.9 million days when people miss school or work due to ozone- and particle pollution-related symptoms. These benefits would far outweigh the annual cost of compliance with the proposed rule, which EPA estimates at $2.8 billion in 2014.

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