Following President Obama's high-profile climate speech last week, the EPA is quickly pushing forward with its 2012 draft New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) effectively requiring CCS for all new coal-fired power plants (for more, see Calls Intensify for More Global Action on CCS, 5/16/12). A revised NSPS rule reflecting public feedback collected over a year-long comment period was originally due to be released in April, but publication was delayed in response to strong push back by the coal industry, which argued that the draft standard was too stringent. Last week, however, Obama indicated that a revised standard would be released to the public no later than September 20, with final issuance planned for June 2014. Obama also instructed EPA to present a draft performance standard for existing power plants by next June, with final release set for 2015.
To comply with this accelerated timeline, EPA reportedly delivered its revised NSPS draft to the White House on Monday, for further consideration by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and other agencies. The contents of the revised draft are confidential and unknown, although subject to intense speculation regarding what concessions Big Coal may have managed to extract from the administration. OMB will communicate its findings to EPA in the next several weeks.