From: Reuters
Published July 7, 2009 06:46 AM

U.S. power plant emissions fall

U.S. power plant emissions of sulfur dioxide dropped sharply in the first half of the year as the electricity industry prepared for tighter regulation in 2010, Genscape said Monday.

Sulfur dioxide emissions were down 24 percent compared to the first half of 2008, much more than would be expected due to the recession and lower electricity demand, the power industry data provider said in its quarterly review of energy trends.

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"The industry is clearly going through a dress rehearsal for the implementation of the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR) in 2010, and judging by allowance prices as well as the fundamental data, it is a stellar performance," Genscape said.

Other emissions also were down, though exact comparisons with SO2 were complicated by different rules governing the three pollutants, Genscape Senior Vice President Abudi Zein said.

This year versus last, nitrogen oxide emissions fell 5 percent in May and 11 percent in June, mostly due to the recession, the report said.

Second-quarter carbon dioxide emissions were down 10 percent in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative service area, where they can be monitored, mostly due to cool weather in the Northeast and the recession, Genscape said.

But the decline in SO2 is largely because of the new rules coming in 2010 and an allowance scheme that favors early implementation, the power data provider said.

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