The EPA tightens pollution standards for power plants, with a big loophole for coal and gas

A coal power plant in Texas in 2017 that became the first in the US to add carbon capture technology. | Photo by Luke Sharrett / Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules for power plants today that are supposed to clean up pollution. But instead of encouraging more renewable energy growth, the proposal would actually help keep polluting coal and gas plants online.

The proposed mandate requires existing power plants to start limiting their carbon dioxide emissions in 2030, introducing restrictions that would become more stringent over time. Any new gas power plants would have to comply with pollution caps as soon as they’re built. A fact sheet from the agency says it decided not to update rules for new coal plants since it doesn’t anticipate new coal facilities to come online, which are more expensive and polluting than gas plants.

The proposed rules…

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