Apr 26, 2024 - Technology

Biden's insurance policy on coal emissions

Photo illustration of Joe Biden holding a carbon molecule.

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

It might take a village (of regulations) to tame carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, Ben writes.

The big picture: New carbon rules grabbed the biggest headlines this week, but the Environmental Protection Agency also toughened requirements yesterday on other types of coal pollution.

The intrigue: TD Cowen, in a note, called this de facto insurance for addressing coal's climate impact.

  • "The likelihood of judicial remand is high — hence the importance of three other rules, which are more narrowly tailored, yet still raise operational costs for coal-fired assets."
  • They see "significant coal retirements" from the mercury and air toxics standards in concert with new wastewater rules, even if CO2 mandates face legal setbacks.

State of play: An EPA analysis argues the carbon rules and other new standards together will clean up the grid without jeopardizing it.

  • The mandates give power companies "information and regulatory certainty needed for an integrated, coordinated, and economically efficient approach to meeting their environmental obligations," EPA said.

Our thought bubble: Speaking of CO2 rules, some of K Street's criticism is rooted in what Andrew writes about in today's top item.

  • On the gas side, the American Petroleum Institute says energy thirst for data centers and manufacturing show more renewables and more gas are needed.
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