The number of US homes relying on burning wood for heat is up 24 percent since 2006. But environmental concerns could quash further growth of wood-burning.
The EPA says its new rules to drastically reduce toxic air pollution will improve national health at a minimal cost. But the power industry says the rules could hurt the economy.
Environmentalists say President Obama is dropping a plan to set new air-quality standards with one eye on on the presidential election. The administration says it is waiting for more research.
The details of new EPA regulations, released Thursday, mandate reductions in power-plant emissions. 'Old, decrepit plants' without pollution controls may be just too costly to retrofit and be shut down by their owners, say analysts.
Utilities may close up to 1 in 5 coal-fired power plants after tougher EPA air pollution rules go into effect next year, Wall Street investment banker Credit Suisse recently reported. Coal power is losing its price edge to natural gas, too.
Citing health benefits of reduced air pollution, the EPA on Monday proposed requiring power plants in the central and eastern US to dramatically curb emissions by 2014.
Anxious over lack of progress on a new energy bill, a group of 29 state governors has sent the White House and Congress a list of renewable energy recommendations, seeking support for wind and solar projects.
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson defended the agency's role in regulating greenhouse gas at a Tuesday budget hearing. Some Republican senators back a bill to strip the EPA of that authority.
Virginia, Texas, and interested groups are going to court to challenge the science behind the EPA's ruling that greenhouse gases are a danger to human heath and welfare.