Court's ruling delays coal-fired plant

June 30, 2008 3:15:06 PM PDT
The construction of a coal-fired power plant in southwest Georgia has been effectively halted by a judge who says the plant's builders must first obtain a permit from state regulators that limits the amount of carbon dioxide emissions. Environmental activists say the decision will have far-reaching implications. They say it is the first decision that applies the same legal standard used by the Supreme Court's April 2007 finding that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.

The $2 billion Longleaf Energy plant is expected to emit as much as 9 million tons of carbon dioxide each year and 4,700 tons of sulfur dioxide.

State regulators and Houston-based plant developer Dynegy Inc. have dismissed the arguments, noting that there is no federal standard to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

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