Our friends and colleagues at Idaho Conservation League were recently successful in their efforts to get Idaho DEQ to regulate carbon emissions in an air pollution permit to be issued to a new “clean-coal gasification fertilizer plant” in Southern Idaho. This is notable because it is the first such air quality permit in the nation. It’s obviously somewhat ironic, given the climate-skeptic and anti-regulation attitudes of many Idaho leaders, but when a $1.5 billion project comes to town, and it’s ready to go forward on carbon limits, then, well, the permit gets written.
The new permit limits carbon emissions to 58% of what might otherwise have been permitted in a comparable plant. U.S. EPA hasn’t yet issued rules on how greenhouse gases might be regulated in future permits, so this Idaho permit could be an example for power plants nationwide.