In a move that could severely impact the U.S. power industry, Barack Obama plans to classify carbon dioxide as a dangerous pollutant that can be regulated if he wins the White House.
A President Obama will tell the Environmental Protection Agency that it can use the 1990 Clean Air Act to set CO2 emissions limits on power plants and manufacturers, his energy adviser Jason Grumet said in an interview with Bloomberg.com.
He would be the first president to classify emissions blamed for global warming in the category of pollutants that includes lead, carbon monoxide, ozone and sulfur dioxide.
“Placing heat-trapping pollutants in the same category as ozone may lead to caps on power-plant emissions and force utilities to use the most expensive systems to curb pollution,” Bloomberg reports.
“The move may halt construction plans on as many as half of the 130 proposed new U.S. coal plants.”
About half of the proposed plants plan to employ technologies that are 20 percent more efficient than conventional coal-burning plants.
President Bush has opposed the notion that the Clean Air Act applies to carbon dioxide and has declined to curb CO2 emissions.
Republican John McCain has not said how he would approach carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act.
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