updated - December 5, 2013 Thursday EST
The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled a proposal that would capture greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants since those run by coal are not likely to meet the industry standard without costly technology to store carbon emissions.
"There's no demand for the technology now, but an EPA rule will change that" Dan Weiss of the Center for American Progress, a research group that supports the limits told USA Today.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told USA Today, "(Americans have a) moral obligation to the next generation to protect the environment, and its proposal, updated from an initial one last year, is a necessary step to address a public health challenge.".
While there are no commercial power plants run by coal that utilize the technology, at least two are now being constructed. One is located in Canada's Saskatchewan Province. The other is in Mississippi's Kemper County, which is scheduled to open in May when it becomes the world's first coal powered power plant, USA Today reported.
The United States has plans to add three other coal plants, including two in Texas, and one in Illinois. According to USA Today, those in the coal industry feel the anti-pollution technology is too costly while those for the change feel it's necessary in order to battle climate change.
"It's a gray area," Howard Herzog, MIT's Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies program told USA Today. "All the components are commercial. What's not is having a business model where they all work together.
"If you had to do it, you could but it would be expensive."
According to USA Today, Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of electricity in the U.S. as they provided 37 percent of the total amount of electricity used throughout the country in 2012 and give off various amounts of greenhouse gases.
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