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The Future of Energy: Policy, Technology & Cost

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FILE - In this Friday, July 20, 2012 file photo, a drilling rig is pictured near Calumet, Okla. America's decision to re-elect President Barack Obama over Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will impact key sectors of the American economy. The boom in U.S. oil and gas production during the president's first term will likely continue, thanks largely to new drilling techniques. But drilling could slow if the Environmental Protection Agency toughens rules governing a controversial technique called hydraulic fracturing. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

To start, a new Boiler Maximum Achievable Control Technology (MACT) Rule is in the works. In a nutshell, this rule would require that combustion of fossil fuel used for boilers must be controlled at the maximum level of control technology efficiency. Some industry insiders claim the standards are so strict in this rule that even the very latest boiler and combustion technology cannot achieve the limitations imposed. The uncertainty of the rule and bipartisan opposition forced the EPA to shelve the rule until after the recent election. Some industry insiders claim that if enacted, the rule will reduce the US GDP by up to $1.2 billion and cost around 800,000 jobs.. While the gloom and doom predictions of critics are likely to be exaggerated, it is a given that older plants will probably close due to the high cost of implementing the technology required to control boiler combustion. As older coal plants close, coal production will be effected, as will other ancillary businesses that feed from coal mining and distribution operations here in the United States.

A new Cooling Tower Rule is also expected to go into effect this year after being put on hole last year by the administration. The rule puts into place strict requirements for plants that rely on cooling reservoirs in order to protect fish and other wildlife. According to the EPA, the cost to industry to comply with this new rule would be around a half-billion dollars but industry spokespersons have pegged costs at much higher levels.

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Posted by FanSite on Apr 1st, 2013 and filed under Feature Story. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response by filling following comment form or trackback to this entry from your site

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