Two Entergy Arkansas Coal Plants Ranked on List of Nation's 'Dirtiest'

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013 12:00 am  

But there’s one factor that Barlow said makes this much less of a concern for Entergy: natural gas.

“In the current climate, natural gas prices are so low that very few people are thinking about building new coal plants,” he said. “Some say the EPA has killed new coal, and to a certain extent that’s true, but natural gas has also killed coal.”

Within a few years, however, Entergy will also have to deal with new regulations on its existing coal plants, four of which are in Arkansas and one in Louisiana.

Existing Plants

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama said he wanted the EPA to have a proposal for existing plants by June 2014.

One major difference is that this regulation will likely allow for more control from the state level. This means ideas for the regulation have been flooding in from groups around the country.

Barlow said there’s a “tremendous amount of uncertainty” surrounding this future regulation.

“I think the best way to describe it is these proposals just run the gamut,” Barlow said. “This section of the Clean Air Act is not used very often.”

He does have an idea what Entergy would like to see. For example, it’s possible the regulation will place a cap on how much carbon dioxide Entergy emits per megawatt hour generated, and Barlow said the company is already in good shape there.

The EPA proposal for new plants is 1,000 pounds per megawatt hour, Barlow said.

“Now, if you look at Entergy’s fleet in Arkansas, our fleetwide average is 940 pounds per megawatt hour,” Barlow said. “That was in 2012.”

Basically, as long as the regulation counts Entergy’s entire fleet, its average will already satisfy EPA standards.



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