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First-of-its-kind law limits carbon emissions from coal gasification plants.

Last April, Gov. John Baldacci signed into law a bill that charts the course for adoption of the nation's first limits on carbon dioxide emissions from coal gasification power plants and refineries. The new law, which CLF advanced together with Midcoast residents opposed to the proposed Wiscasset coal gasification plant, also imposes a three-year moratorium on licensing of such plants until the new regulations are developed.

The law closes a major loophole in existing laws which would otherwise allow increased and unlimited emissions of carbon dioxide--the primary pollutant that causes global warming--from coal gasification plants. That loophole would have opened the door for the Twin River Energy Center, a proposed coal gasification and diesel refinery in the coastal town of Wiscasset. If constructed, Twin River would have instantly become Maine's largest source of global warming pollution. In 2007, CLF worked with the Back River Alliance and others to defeat a zoning ordinance in Wiscasset that would have allowed the Twin River facility to move forward.

"The science is clear: to avoid the disastrous impacts of climate change we must focus on the solutions that will deliver the greatest reduction in greenhouse gas emissions," said CLF Staff Attorney Steve Hinchman. "The Governor's recent wind power task force set us on a path toward a cleaner energy future and the coal gasification bill ensures that we will stay on track by not constructing new sources of carbon dioxide pollution."

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Title Annotation:Maine
Publication:Conservation Matters
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1U1ME
Date:Jun 22, 2008
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