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New US climate rules for pollution cuts ‘probably terminal’ for coal-fired plants

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below:

🗞️ Driving the news: New regulations by the Biden administration targeting coal-fired power plants aim to significantly reduce carbon emissions, demanding a 90% cut by the end of this decade
• This move, emphasizing the transition to cleaner energy sources, is expected to hasten the decline of coal in the U.S. energy sector

🔭 The context: Coal has been a dominant energy source in the U.S., but its role has been diminishing due to the rise of cheaper renewables and natural gas
• The Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) stringent new rules could signal a near-terminal phase for the coal industry, particularly for older plants that are costly to upgrade with carbon capture technology.

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: Coal is a major source of carbon pollution, contributing over half of the emissions from the U.S. power sector
• Phasing out coal is crucial for mitigating climate change and aligns with global efforts, like the G7's commitment to end unabated coal use by 2035

⏭️ What's next: The future of coal in the U.S. looks bleak, with expected legal challenges potentially delaying but not preventing the inevitable decline
• The focus is shifting towards expanding renewable energy capacities and enhancing grid reliability amid increasing electric demands

💬 One quote: "This is a major step that really raises questions about the future of the coal industry in the U.S.," said Barry Rabe, environmental policy expert at the University of Michigan.

📈 One stat: Coal's share of U.S. electricity generation has plummeted to 16% in 2023 from over 50% in 1990.

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