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EPA sets limits on coal plant emissions

The Environmental Protection Agency set the first limits on greenhouse gas emissions for new US coal plants, yet old plants will be excluded from the regulations.

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(Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed new regulations on Tuesday to curb carbon emissions from new US coal plants.

The EPA's proposals would halt the building of new coal plants that were not outfitted with expensive technology to limit emissions, reported Reuters.

The plan stops short of forcing existing power plants, which is the source of about a third of US emissions, to abide by new emissions standards nor plants that will be built in the next year.

The move is the latest proposal by the EPA to regulate carbon - a highly controversial issue, which is opposed by Republicans who seek to defund the governmental organization.

According to the Financial Times, the EPA said in a statement that, “Greenhouse gas pollution threatens Americans’ health and welfare by leading to long lasting changes in our climate that can have a range of negative effects on human health and the environment.”

"We're putting in place a standard that relies on the use of clean, American made technology to tackle a challenge that we can't leave to our kids and grandkids," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told reporters in a teleconference, according to Reuters.

The effects of the law would be minimal, however, as new coal plant construction in the US has shrunk in favor of cheaper natural gas.

It is unclear whether the plan would go into effect before the November 6 Presidential election.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/green/energy/120327/epa-sets-limits-coal-plant-emissions