BREAKING NEWS: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency put the breaks on Big Stone II, a major new coal plant proposed in South Dakota and intended to serve electricity consumers in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Coming just days after former President Bush boarded his helicopter and departed our nation's capitol, this news could indicate renewed scrutiny for coal plant proposals from the EPA. Perhaps it's time EPA and it's new management will deserve that "Protection" word once again.
From Bloomberg news:
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency placed a hold on approval of a coal-fired power plant in South Dakota, a move environmental groups say indicates increased scrutiny under President Barack Obama.
“This is a signal that the Obama administration is taking a much harder look at coal power from the previous administration,” said Darrell Gerber, a program coordinator at Washington-based Clean Water Action, which along with the Sierra Club opposed the plant.
The EPA said in a letter to the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources yesterday that the state didn’t meet requirements under the Clean Air Act in part of its proposed permit for the plant. The state has 90 days to respond to the agency’s objections.
Obama has pledged to fight global warming by cutting the amount of greenhouse gases released in the U.S. and pursuing clean-energy technology. Coal-fired power plants account for almost 30 percent of heat-trapping carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S., according to the Sierra Club.
The Sierra Club and Clean Water Action said in a joint statement that this is the first major coal-plant decision by the EPA under Obama, and it means other proposed plants will are likely to come under greater federal scrutiny.