Could forests help states offset coal plant emissions under EPA rule? Probably not

12 January 2015

A funny thing happens when states are told to cut greenhouse gas emissions or shut down their coal plants: They start looking for solutions in unexpected places, like forests.

U.S. EPA's draft rule to cut power sector carbon emissions suggests states could reach their targets by making coal plants more efficient, using more natural gas and renewable energy, and reducing power consumption. But it doesn't limit them to those options.

At least two states -- Georgia and Kentucky -- have expressed interest in using trees as a carbon sink to offset emissions from fossil fuel plants. EPA seems to be throwing cold water on that idea, though.

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