New York environmental regulators recently adopted carbon dioxide emissions limits for new and expanded power plants that make it nearly impossible to build a new coal unit in the state, reports Scott DiSavino at Reuters news.There are no coal plants under active development in New York, which currently has about two dozen coal units — some very old, small and rarely operated. By preventing new high-carbon sources of energy, this standard will further decrease the power sector’s contribution to climate change, which poses a substantial threat to public health and the environment, noted Joseph Martens, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Base load plants, which have historically been coal and nuclear powered, usually operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Natural gas turbines generally operate during summer and winter peak demands. But with natural gas prices touching 10-year lows this spring, many utilities are turning to gas-fired units to generate around-the-clock power instead of coal. But this begs the question: just how much will the carbon footprint of natural gas, another fossil fuel, really decrease the power’s sector contribution to climate change?
NY adopts CO2 rules that limit new coal power plants http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/06/28/us-utilities-newyork-carbon-coal-idUSBRE85R1GF20120628