Full Title: Reducing Coal Plant Emissions by Cofiring with Natural Gas
Author(s): Maya Domeshek, Dallas Burtraw
Publisher(s): Resources for the Future
Publication Date: May 18, 2021
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Using its existing authority under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can jump-start the Biden administration’s plan to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by 52 percent and contribute important air quality benefits in this decade.
Under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, the EPA can establish guidelines and require states to develop standards of performance for existing sources of air pollution. These performance standards are emissions limits that the EPA administrator determines are achievable using an adequately demonstrated best system of emissions reductions. This provision has been successfully exercised many times; however, the two times it has been used to regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at existing electricity-generating units (EGUs), it has failed in the courts. We describe and model an approach that is likely to be more successful, based on the opportunity to use natural gas to cofire with coal to reduce emissions at coal EGUs.