Fuel switch, coal clean-up continues to drive emissions drops - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Fuel switch, coal clean-up continues to drive emissions drops

Posted: Updated:
  • EnergyEnergyMore>>

  • Marshall Co. makes plans for natural gas combined cycle power plant

    Marshall Co. makes plans for natural gas combined cycle power plant

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 6:42 PM EDT2014-04-22 22:42:40 GMT
    The project still needs to obtain state and federal approvals to develop and build the plant, but organizers anticipate construction to begin in 2015 and operations to begin by 2018.
    The project still needs to obtain state and federal approvals to develop and build the plant, but organizers anticipate construction to begin in 2015 and operations to begin by 2018.
  • WV DEP Lifts Cease Operations Order to Antero at Harrison, Doddridge Sites

    WV DEP Lifts Cease Operations Order to Antero at Harrison, Doddridge Sites

    Monday, April 21 2014 1:00 PM EDT2014-04-21 17:00:50 GMT
    The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Office of Oil and Gas have issued violation notices to Antero Resources.
    The West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection and the Office of Oil and Gas have issued violation notices to Antero Resources.
  • Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom

    Fracking foes cringe as unions back drilling boom

    Monday, April 21 2014 8:51 AM EDT2014-04-21 12:51:19 GMT
    After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking.
    After early complaints that out-of-state firms got the most jobs, some local construction trade workers and union members in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia say they're now benefiting in a big way from the Marcellus and Utica Shale oil and gas boom.That vocal support from blue-collar workers complicates efforts by environmentalists to limit the drilling process known as fracking.

A new post by the Energy Information Administration points to fuel-switching and cleaner coal-burning processes for sharp reductions in sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides emissions.

In 2012, the electric power sector emitted less sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide than any year since passage of 1990 Clean Air Act amendments. The EIA post points to increased retrofitting of flue-gas desulfurization, or scrubber technology, less use of high-sulfur coal and technologies dedicated to burning coal that reduce or eliminate sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide emissions.

The decline, the EIA's post points out, is also attributable to the switching from coal to cheaper natural gas.

The amendments to the Clean Air Act were primarily written to address the issue of acid rain.

"Because coal-fired units accounted for a large share of SO2 and NOx emissions, the program provided an economic incentive for coal-fired power plants to reduce emissions by installing pollution control systems, burning lower sulfur coal, or, for high-emitting plants, dispatching less electricity," the EIA wrote. "… The reduction in SO2 and NOx emissions through the late 2000s was primarily the result of coal plants employing strategies to reduce emissions, not a reduction in the use of coal overall."