EPA Regulations and Unexpected Benefits to the Permian Basin

EPA Regulations and Unexpected Benefits to the Permian Basin

The environmental protection agency announced a clean power plan on Monday, causing controversy across the nation. Experts say the plan will have an immense impact on the coal industry and possibly on the oil and gas industry.
President Barack Obama is using his executive authority to take his strongest action yet against climate change.

The environmental protection agency announced a clean power plan on Monday, causing controversy across the nation.

The plan aims to cut 30 percent of carbon emissions from the nation's power plants by 2030.

“Our plan aims to cut energy waste and leverage cleaner energy sources by doing two things: First, by setting achievable, enforceable state goals to cut carbon pollution per megawatt hour of electricity generated. And second, laying out a national framework that gives states the flexibility to chart their own, customized path on how they meet their goals,” said Gina McCarthy, EPA Administrator.

Experts say the plan will have an immense impact on the coal industry and possibly on the oil and gas industry.

“Now that's going to benefit actually the oil and gas industry because rather than using coal people are going to be switching their power plants to natural gas,” said Hoxie Smith, Director of the Petroleum Professional Development Center at Midland College.

But according to Smith, the shift from coal to natural gas began during the shale gas boom.

“The thing that's really concerning about it is that it's the federal government that's doing this,” Smith said, adding that it’s not really clear on what some of the limits of the EPA’s jurisdiction are.

During Monday’s press conference, McCarthy said the plan would reduce the cost of energy and it would increase safety.

"For the sake of our families' health and our kids' future, we have a moral obligation to act on climate. When we do, we'll turn risks on climate into business opportunity. We'll spur innovation and investment, and we'll build a world-leading clean energy economy," McCarthy said.

Smith said the industry has already been focusing on reducing carbon dioxide emission.

“We're going to natural gas anyway, we've actually reduced our emissions every year more so than any other country in the world right now,” he said.

Smith said ideally, he would prefer state regulations rather than federal ones imposed by the EPA.

“Why put all these regulations out there where we really don’t need to have then right now?”

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