Submitted by New Energy News Blog

The fight over CO2 is going on in many states simultaneously as a result of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to act.Kansas has stopped the construction of coal plants (KANSAS REJECTS EMISSIONS). An environmental board in Arkansas this week refused to act until the EPA rules (Panel denies air-code changes). A California court indicated decisions about auto fuel standards may proceed in the absence of an EPA decision (Automakers Make No Headway Against California Clean Car Law).

Now a judge in Georgia says a coal plant construction permit must include the “best available [CO2] control technology” before it can be granted.In a way, the Bush administration’s refusal to act to uncomplicate the process is good news. It seems to imply the harm done by CO2 will surely be recognized, controls and costs will be imposed and the White House can hope for no better results on behalf of fossil fuels than delaying the inevitable.

Rumor has it an EPA ruling is coming soon despite the best efforts of the Bush administration to prevent it.The great bulk of CO2 emissions come from fossil fuels. The great bulk of CO2 emissions from power generation come from coal. (click to enlarge)

Georgia Judge Cites Carbon Dioxide in Denying Cola Plant Permit
Matthew L. Wald, July 1, 2008 (NY Times via Yahoo Finance)

Georgia Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Sierra Club; Friends of the Chattahoochee; Georgia Department of Natural Resources; LS Power Group and Dynegy (Michael F. Vogt, coal plant project manager)

Judge Moore disallowed a permit granted by Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources for the construction of a new coal plant, noting that the recent Supreme Court ruling on CO2 and Clean Air Act requirements necessitate reconsideration of the permit before the coal plant construction can proceed.

This trend must be reversed… (click to enlarge)

– The Supreme Court ruling came in April 2007.
– The coal plant construction permit was granted in May 2007.
– Judge Moore’s ruling was June 19.
– Coal plant construction had been scheduled for later in 2008.

– Judge Moore presides in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Ga.
– The proposed coal plant would be near Blakely, in Early County, Ga.

– The Supreme Court ruled CO2 is a pollutant and the EPA must decide how to regulate it.
– The Clean Air Act requires the EPA to regulate pollutants.
– Judge Moore decided the permit was not valid until the Department of Natural Resources includes instructions on the regulation of the coal plant’s CO2 emissions.
– The suit was brought by the Sierra Club and Friends of the Chattahoochee. A Sierra Club representative suggested restrictions the Department of Natural Resources could impose on the plant (ex: energy per pound of coal requirements, requirements to include biomass with the coal) to reduce the CO2/kilowatt-hour generated.
– Legal experts differ as to whether the Arkansas case will set a precedent.

…And this is why it must be reversed. (click to enlarge)

– Judge Moore’s decision: “[A permit for a new coal plant must include the] best available control technology [for CO2]…”
– Vogt, plant project manager: “There simply are no regulations out there to tell us what we would have to do…The E.P.A. is wrestling with this right now, as is Congress.”

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