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Last month’s Supreme Court decision left EPA with a conundrum: how to meaningfully cut carbon dioxide emissions from the nation’s fleet of natural gas power plants without risking another reversal in court.
Limited technological options and a mountain of legal uncertainty make taming CO2 emissions from existing gas plants a difficult task. But it is one the Biden administration will have to grapple with to have any chance of delivering on its promise to cut power-sector emissions 80 percent by the end of this decade.
The potential focus on gas represents a shift from the Obama era, when EPA largely focused its efforts on curtailing emissions from coal. But CO2 pollution from gas plants has exploded in recent decades, as the fuel replaced coal as the country’s leading form of electricity generation.