How the Clean Air Mercury Rule will affect coal prices.
The Clean Air Mercury Rule impacts new and existing coal-fired electric generating plants through a market-based cap-and-trade program similar to the EPA’s highly successful Acid Rain Program. The first phase of the program in 2010 reduces mercury emissions to 38 tons. The second phase goes into action in 2018 with a final mercury emissions cap of 15 tons. The key question is: what extent will the new rule reduce coal’s dominance in the electric generation market?