A closed entrance at the Environmental Protection Agency building is pictured. (AP Photo) The Environmental Protection Agency is an independent agency of the United States federal government for environmental protection. President Richard Nixon proposed the establishment of EPA on July 9, 1970 and it began operation on December 2, 1970, after Nixon signed an executive order.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday moved to rescind pollution limits on new coal plants set by the Obama administration that require generators to install costly carbon capture technology.

EPA’s current New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) for coal plants require that new generators emit no more than 1,400 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of power, but Administrator Andrew Wheeler announced his agency will raise that limit to 1,900 pounds for large generators.

Utilities, analysts and EPA’s own analysis of the NSPS rollback say that new U.S. coal plants are unlikely due to competition from cheaper resources, despite the loosening of multiple environmental regulations.

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