An article in the Washington Post reports, on what could be a major decision in the fight against global warming, that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment became the first government agency in the United States to cite carbon dioxide emissions as the reason for rejecting an air permit for a proposed coal-fired electricity generating plant, saying that the greenhouse gas threatens public health and the environment. . . .
It may be the first of a series of similar state actions inspired by a Supreme Court decision in April that asserted that greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide should be considered pollutants under the Clean Air Act. . . . more
Update, 12:34 am:
This is not the only coal plant in trouble, as this article in the Austin American Statemen reports: At least 16 coal-fired power plant proposals nationwide have been scrapped in recent months and more than three dozen have been delayed as utilities face increasing pressure due to concerns over global warming and rising construction costs. . . . more
Update, 1:48 am:
In Energy and Capital Jeff Siegel wrote: This past Tuesday, American Electric Power Company agreed to a $4.6 billion settlement over pollution controls at its power plants. The company will also have to shell out $15 million in civil penalties and $60 million in cleanup and mitigation costs. . . . more
If this precedent is followed, and it will be cited by environmentalists in future applications for air quality permits for future coal powered power plants, we may not need additional legislation to require carbon capture and sequestration, unless a law is passed exempting carbon dioxide from the provisions of the Clean Air Act. The later would be a very unpopular law with citizens and, I believe, from Democrats and without much support from Republicans in an election year. Until this is straighted out in appeals courts, it looks like a big win for nuclear power and renewables as utilities will be less willing to take a chance on coal powered power plants. This will also be a big boon for wind power and thermal solar in the near future, until PV solar becomes more competitive. The fact is that coal power is getting more expensive as many other sources are becoming less expensive.