Did the EPA Just Take Coal Plants to the Guillotine?

The following video is from Thursday's Digging for Value, in which host Alison Southwick and Motley Fool energy analysts, Taylor Muckerman and Joel South, get to the heart of the biggest stories in energy investing today.

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It's no secret that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was prepared to crack down on coal-fired power plants due to the harmful emissions they produce. This week, we learned just how far the EPA is willing to go in terms of its regulations. With many utilities realizing that current coal technology won't cut it, one in particular has made progress toward commercial scale carbon capture and storage. Tune in below to see which high yielding utility is addressing key issues and which ones still have work to do. 

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  • Report this Comment On September 13, 2013, at 11:52 AM, vet212 wrote:

    Given the idiocy and insanity in the attitudes of the left and greens yes and without a viable alternative to replace the lost generating capacity look for blackouts to come stupidity now reigns supreme in the United States

  • Report this Comment On September 13, 2013, at 12:23 PM, Jim1501 wrote:

    The Obama administration and their minions at the EPA have been decimating the coal industry for years. All this clean coal talk that Obama used during his campaign was just to swing votes in the coal-producing states. But he was lying through his teeth the whole time.

  • Report this Comment On September 13, 2013, at 12:55 PM, KUBLOTNIK wrote:

    this is the current gov."war on coal" . i remember reading an article on the A P . the writer said that he figured he could do without so many things in his life that caused the use of unnecessary energy. one of the big ones was his AIR CONDITIONER. he was going to turn that off and HELP THE PLANET. you stupid yankee.!! come down south and see if you can live for one day in the 105' heat without air cond. i remember in 1980 when we had 100' to 110' for over 45 days .thousands of people died in texas , okla.,ark.,missouri,louisiana. air cond. needs POWER from coal burning plants. so make us all suffer for your "save the planet" attitude.

  • Report this Comment On September 13, 2013, at 12:56 PM, JasonFMcCullough wrote:

    The fact is, the burning of coal must end and it must end immediately. At least the burning of coal without true carbon capture already working – which is not installed anywhere to date. This will hurt many workers and a number of communities. But it must happen.

    Yes, we waited too late and do not have alternatives. Yes, we should have been building 4th gen nuclear plants for over a decade now.

    But, unfortunately for all of us, the science is very clear: coal will cause climate change to go beyond the control of humans. Worldwide, we have to fully stop using coal by 2030, with a rapid phase out by then. Only if the United States leads this effort do we have a chance.

    The consequences sound unreal, but they are true: there is now the probability that earth will go the way of Venus. If humans allow oceans to warm to the point where the 50+ million year buildup of methane hydrates currently sitting on ocean floors are released into the atmosphere, our planet will warm too much to support life. Earth will become another Venus.

    Between the unprecedented climate forcing by human use of fossil fuels + the release of methane hydrates – climate change will run away. Our surface temperature will go from 15C to 100C, and the oceans will boil away. This is where we are going. If we continue to burn coal and unconventional fossil fuels, this will happen in less than 300 years from now. The humans alive in 2100 will have such a different planet than we live on today as to be unknowable to us. We need to keep most known reserves of fossil fuels in the ground – regardless of what we fear that choice may do to our current immediate lifestyles.

    Our government must do more. Obama much do much more on this issue. We must lead and change the world.

    This is not science fiction. This is what science and the data tell us. Read about it. Study it. We can’t afford not to understand this. Listen to the leading scientists our world has to offer: Hansen, McKibben, etc.


  • Report this Comment On September 13, 2013, at 7:50 PM, rossbro wrote:

    Hey, crybabies !! Are the big coal companies paying you to cry in public?????

    All they have to do is clean up stack emissions. If coal is so great, CLEAN IT UP !!! Jobs WILL be lost in that industry. Like in EVERY other industry in this Country. Modernize or get run over by the new whatever.

    But stop the weeping and wailing.!!!!!!!!

  • Report this Comment On September 13, 2013, at 11:06 PM, bugmenot wrote:

    The National Academy of Science just released a report clearly stating that climate science was not ready to be used for decision making. None of the models work. All of the predictions have failed. Simply put, Climate Science looks like a fraud at this point. Remember how the Northwest Passage was supposed to be free of ice this year? Well, the ice is 60% larger than last year. Obama, Gore and the Global Warming religion is proving to be a fraud. The IPCC will state that there has been no warming in 17 years! But they will blame the lack of warming on some other junk science instead of admitting that they were wrong!

  • Report this Comment On September 14, 2013, at 10:48 AM, rangerchuck wrote:

    Modernity has come to be defined as a countries use of electrical power. In absolute numbers the US is the number 1 user of electricity. (4.2T KW generated and 3.9T KW used) Nuclear, Hydro and other renewable forms of energy make up about 21% of the total and with the exception of wind and non-PV solar are not growing. The new EPA regulations will make it difficult to build new generating stations in the US and when taken to the real objective of regulating the existing power generations station will simply force them out of business, they will close the plants rather than comply with the new regulations. At some point electricity will become scarce and the price will go up hurting the poor and middle class not the uber rich. I am of the opinion that much of the Federal Government is out of control and needs to be brought under control.

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