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Re: E-M:/ U.S. Supreme Court Again Support Clean Air

Enviro-Mich message from Rane Curl <ranecurl@engin.umich.edu>

On Mon, 5 Mar 2001, David Wright wrote:

> If all power plants operated at their theoretical maximum efficiency and if 
> all power plants burned the same fuel then in theory a limit on CO2 would 
> be a limit on fuel consumption.
> All power plants do not operate at their maximum theoretical efficiency and 
> depending on the age, technology, maintenance, controls, and other design 
> and operating constraints produce more or less CO2 per heat input or 
> electricity produced.
> While I cannot speak for Administrator Whitman, developing performance 
> standards for power plants is one way to achieve reductions in CO2 emissions.

My point was that a power plant cannot produce more CO2 emissions than the
carbon in the fuel burned, nor can it produce less CO2 emissions than that
corresponding to the maximum possible efficiency. Steam power plants
already operate rather close to the latter. Where is there room for
*really significant* reductions in CO2 emissions? Even performance
standards are limited by the conservation laws of matter and energy. What
is required to combat global warming is many fold reductions in CO2
emissions, not small improvements in efficiency.

--Rane L. Curl

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