It's a growing energy trend in the U.S.: Proposed coal plants denied because they fail to address or sufficiently limit the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) they produce (CO2 is a major contributor to global warming). Late last year, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment was the first to kill a new coal plant on the grounds that the CO2 it contributed to global warming amounted to a public health threat. Not long after, Washington and Wyoming denied new coal plants because of the CO2 pollution and the uncertain regulatory market surrounding CO2 emissions.
Now, a Georgia state court has invalidated a permit to build a 1,200-megawatt coal-fired power plant, citing the developers' failure to limit CO2 emissions. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources issued the permit, but Fulton County Superior Court Judge Thelma Wyatt Cummings Moore cited last year's U.S. Supreme Court ruling that CO2 is a pollutant that can be regulated under the Clean Air Act.
This is the first court decision applying the Supreme Court's ruling to coal plants, but it won't be the last. Energy efficiency must become a greater focus to meet our energy needs (and indeed is the cheapest, fastest, easiest way to fight global warming), along with more renewable energy to create a better energy system for the 21st century.